1/07/2008

Mean Testing in frontpage news

This is a very serious topic for the day and days to come. I agree with Boon Wan that while there are different classes of wards, the standard must not be lowered just because it is C wards. But the fact is also that no top doctors or surgeons would be there at C wards level. Too expensive and it is a reality that people must accept. You can have good quality doctors but not necessarily the top. All our medical practitioners are the best and trained from the best medical schools. So have no fear. The intention of Mean Testing is to make sure that the richer people pay accordingly. Maybe we should do away with all the different classes and just make people pay according to their affordability. A uniform standard of service for all. From each according to his best and to each according to his needs and pay according to his pocket. Another way of doing it is marketing and branding. The richer and more face conscious people would not want to lose face by going for products and services that are deemed to be of low class. We can rebrand the different wards to reflect the service standards and social status. A Class can be called First Class wards for first class people. B Class be called Business Class. As for C Class, the class that we want to prevent the cheapskates from not paying their dues, we can call it Cheapskate Class. That should befit those going there and getting treatment. I n a way, the poorer people would not care a dime what they are called. Only those who have money and are more conscious of their status would not want to be seen to be there. If that is too direct, maybe call it No Class Wards. In this way we may be able to do away with mean testing. The thought of it is quite unpleasant to subject the poorer people to this kind of checks. Very humiliating actually. Ok the cheapskates will still go there as their skins are quite thick. Never mind lah. There is always karma to take care of them. But actually what is wrong if people do not want to pay so much? Our medical bills are cheap compares to the West. $1k, $3k or $4k! Cheap like hell. Every Singaporeans should be able to afford them. How much is their income? $800, $1000 or $2000? What the heck, just pay or borrow a bit. The most is only 2 or 3 months income for a stay in a world class hospital. Worth every cent spent.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

redbean,

actually I'm quite confused...perhaps you can help clarify my perception.

Currently, in public hospitals, we already have different ward class and the subsidy given to S'poreans is based on the ward class on a reducing scale against inferior-to-superior ward class. I think most people will probably stay in the ward class that they can afford. (eg rich will either stay in Class A, Middle Income in class B etc)

If a lot of rich people are 'cheating' and taking advantage of ward B1, then why not just reduce the subsidy for this class further?

Why go thru the complications of Means Testing, when a simpler approach is to relook the subsidy given to the various classes and adjust them, where necessary.

redbean said...

the system is in place, yes. but there are some people who are rich but are contend to stay in lower class wards to save money. this, to some, is unacceptable.

how rich are these people is subjective and may be questionable unless one knows exactly what their financial situation is. an old retired couple living with a little savings they have but staying in an old bungalow which they bought donkey years ago or handed down to them are sitting on several millions. should they be considered rich or not?

in my latest post i asked the same question, why all the fuss?