4/02/2008

28 hr wait for hospital bed

TOC Feature: 28-hour wait for a bed at the Singapore General Hospital Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 2, 2008 The above article was posted by Andrew Loh in TOC. It talked about a patient that only got to a bed of her choice after 28 hr wait. It also mentioned that a bed was offer to her in B2 ward earlier instead of B2 Plus ward but she rejected the offer. In my view, the criticism for the long wait was unfair. First she was sick and should grab whatever bed that was offered to her if she needed a bed badly. But she had an affluent sickness of being uncomfortable in a warm room and needed to be in an aircon room. So she rather wait for the comfort of an aircon room and to endure the discomfort of being in the waiting area. A personal choice. The other point raised is the lack of beds. But this is not a real problem. It is a conscious decision to build lesser hospitals (which also means lesser beds) so that the facilities will not be under utilised. It is a judgement call. You can agree or disagree with the judgement or value behind the judgement. The lack of bed need not be a problem. If the thinking is right, or the value is right, lack of bed will not be an issue.

3 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

This is no surprise. Public healthcare is a disaster waiting to happen, and this esample is only a 'mild' signal.

When the govt is involved in the supply of a product or service, there will invariably be SHORTAGES in supply.

This is not some way-out anti-govt rant. It is simple economic fact. (i.e. natural law)

Anonymous said...

But wouldn't the alternative cater more to the middle-class, with those at the lower end of the social hierarchy neglected?

Sure, you get efficiency and better services - but then good health care would then be more exclusive

Matilah_Singapura said...

There is this danger in modern political thought which thinks of flesh-and-blood human beings in terms of "classes". i.e. low class, middle class upperclass

One can be accused of bigotry when thinking of people in terms of races and that there is somehow some kind of hierarchy of races. But the to the people who accuse others of being "racists", thinking about humans in terms of "classes" is alright.

When a human is in dire need of life or death health care, it is IMO cruel and inhuman to think of those suffering in terms of "classes".

The only fair, just and sustainable way to health care and medical services is to get the govt out of the picture TOTALLY, and allow free competition amongst providers of healthcare and medical services, under the necessary institution of the rule of law to protect against criminal negligence and fraud.

There is no way a private businessman will allow a 28hr wait for a private hospital bed, simply because he will miss an economic opportunity for PROFIT if he does, or lose the customer to his competitor who can provide that bed, at that time.

Socialised medicine will always fail, eventually.

Singapore has still not yet embarked on the slippery sewer toward full-blown Universal healthcare—which is a good sign. However, with socialist ideas abound amongst the people and in parliament, there is no telling how it will turn out in the future.