8/24/2007

Make profit is no crime

"Dr Wong Chiang Yin, the hospital's chief operating officer, said: 'When foreigners walk into a hospital, it can be a little forbidding, so we hope the new centre will meet their needs.'.... As the hospital is located near Changi Airport, it sees transit passengers needing medical attention, and this adds to its influx of foreign patients. The hospital also actively recommends its services to potential foreign patients - through its network of 11 medical associates stationed in Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bangladesh and India. But Dr Wong said that providing additional services like these was not an indication that the hospital was going all out to court foreign patients. 'It's not about making money,' he added. " Can someone talk some sense into this guy? There is no shame in making profits, especially from foreigners. Make as much as you can from foreigners and use the surplus to subsidise the locals. That should be the way to go. Restructured hospitals are profit driven. If they are not going to make profits from foreigners, are they going to make profits from locals? All restructured hospitals must be encouraged to compete for foreign patients and use the higher profits to defray the cost of local patients, or to raise the income of the medical professionals. Just make sure that locals are not turn away because they have no time or for lack of facilities. Increase the capacity if need be. Don't they know how to do business?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, it is to meet the needs of foreign patients. How thoughtful! And it is not about making money. How kind! Did he forget to mention that medical and hospitalisation charges for locals are still 'affordable'?

Anonymous said...

come to think abt it the gst is also not about making money.. it is to improve lives, yours and mine.

Anonymous said...

to cater to foreign patients will naturally cause adverse circumstances to the locals as there'll be lesser beds and rise in medical cost as more and more foreign patients come. so, to mention it this way will not bestir the minds of the people. very tactful!

redbean said...

we need to think business and profits. if not enough beds, build more. and if it is for profits, there will be many flowing in. just like universities, not enough places, build. but this one will cost public money as the profit may not be enough to cover.

but hospital fees for foreign clients can be very lucrative and can justify to build more hospitals and beds. the surplus can be ploughed back to finance the locals.

Anonymous said...

That could be why when a local goes to see a specialist under local subsidised rate for specialist treatment, he will be given different doctors, even new ones (rookie) the next time he visits as the specialist needs to be freed up to attend to other patients.

So at the second appointment and depending on the seriousness of the case, one may not be seeing the specialist he was referred to by the poly clinic but attended to instead by GPs under normal subsidised consultation rates in the specialist clinic.

This is my personal experience.

However I was thinking, since foreigners are not entitled to subsidised rate from the onset, the hospital will be motivated by profits, to free the specialist to attend to him throughout subsequent visits.

If this is true then there is an element of dollars and cents at play here, that if a local wants to continue seeing the specialist on his subsequent visits, he may have to pay full rates like a foreigner and the specialist will then be free to attend to him.

Problem is when more poor and aged locals require specialised consultations in followup visits, the specialists will have to choose accepting subsidised rates in these situations over attending to the foreigners at full rates.

When money does not go into resources efficiently there are bound to be competition at work. If I am loaded or a foreigner paying full rate, I will not have a problem with the system.

Any comments on these arguments pls?

redbean said...

it is important that the specialists be allowed to make money. nothing wrong with that.

as for govt hospitals, they can be made to allocate certain hours for subsidised patients. i think they will be most willing to do it as part of their contribution to the community and allow to make money from foreigners and full paying patients.

Anonymous said...

1. Specialists here are not in short supplies as there are more than enough to cater for the local populace, yet they have to be "freed up" due to the influx of full paying foreigners which are outcomes of our money making medical hub promotion efforts to attract their thick wallets.

The implication is that locals are now only given subsidies for basic medical care, where it may have been different in the past.

All things being equal, the promotion of singapore as an international medical destination meant that locals are now being squeezed to compete for advanced medical care. Had we just remained a local hub, these complexities may not have arise.

2. In other developed countries, people get insured to see the doctor, and therefore the insurance companies absorb the costs of specialists care. Hoever it is a bit different in Singapore, as our medisave/shield insurance system does not do that.

At least we should have more elaborate forms of medical insurance to ensure that singaporeans can get full specialists care throughout instead of being elbowed out half way by money competition. Hope this makes sense.

Anonymous said...

2. In other developed countries, people get insured to see the doctor, and therefore the insurance companies absorb the costs of specialists care. Hoever it is a bit different in Singapore, as our medisave/shield insurance system does not do that.


I was referring to outpatient/specialist medical consultation fees which are borne by insurance overseas.

Anonymous said...

ya you get that IF you are a salaried worker or civil servant, most banks gives free medical benefits to their staff.

But if you are not a salaried worker, so sad too bad sorry.

redbean said...

getting specialist treatment is not a right or entitlement. people who want to be treated by a specialist must pay for it.

we should also not put contraints on specialists to make money from their skills.

in govt hospitals, there can be provisions for specialists to do some community hours. and know that there will be the good men around, some will be most willing to do a bit of charity without compulsion.

the citizens in general should be happy with being treated by our well trained doctors and well equipped hospitals.

Anonymous said...

getting specialist treatment is not a right or entitlement. people who want to be treated by a specialist must pay for it.

.....
Then how come the state subsidises it to some degree? If it is not the state repsonsibility to subsidise health care or education, then they should have started. But is health care just abt dispensing free panadols for your headaches but nothing for your ruptured liver? It must be a holistic and consistent service where everything is subsidised throughout or not at all.




we should also not put contraints on specialists to make money from their skills.
......
I think the specialists are paid/rebated by the govt thru claims/ draw down on the subsidy portion from our govt budget.




in govt hospitals, there can be provisions for specialists to do some community hours. and know that there will be the good men around, some will be most willing to do a bit of charity without compulsion.
.....
that wud be as easy as getting top grade volunteers to take up the leadership positions in our country as charity work.





the citizens in general should be happy with being treated by our well trained doctors and well equipped hospitals.
........
Everyone is happy with this part, but again health care is not just about the cough and colds, but the full works. The point is that if specialists care is not COMPLETELY subsidised, then there shud be PROPER medical insurance policies to take care of that which medisave/shield doesnt. Fill that gap is what I am suggesting.

redbean said...

subsidy is now a four letter word to many people. its meaning depends on people's definition.

the level and quality of healthcare depends on the wealth of a nation and the ability of the people to pay.

and insurance is a rich man's option.

while we have come a long way and our standard of living are as good as any first world nation, our demand for health care must be reasonable. like the govt said, nothing is free. there is a cost to everything. and there is subsidy.

when a person has money, all the options are available. when money is not there, the options are limited. the poor cannot expect the same quality of treatment from those who can afford to pay. and the govt can only afford to provide a certain level of service at certain cost.

this we need to be reasonable. want the full works, must be able to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

and insurance is a rich man's option..


??