7/02/2009

Was it $214 or $124?

A couple of days back a forumer wrote to ST, I think, to complain about having to pay $214 for a H1N1 check in a govt hospital, or was it a privatised hospital? H1N1 is an epidemic that is going to affect the whole population. What if everyone finds this too expensive and refuses to seek treatment, how would the situation develop? What would happen if the people find our medical fees too high and choose to skip treatments for all their deadly diseases and sickness? Can we say, well it is their own health and it is their own problem. If they die, we can replace them with more migrants or with new citizens. What if the diseases they are infected were highly infectious? Would it become a crime for not seeking treatment?

22 comments:

Wally Buffet said...

Having to pay for a H1N1 check in a govt. hospital is going to backfire becoming an underground health disaster. People especially the well informed ones who knows that the virus is just a mild form of influenza will not bother about reporting it and just self medicate at home thus sporing another cluster.

But having said that, H1N1 is here to stay and we might as well bite the bullet, take on the virus and have immunity to the disease. IMHO, what is being done now is an exercise in futility. I don't see the Americans getting much excited about the pandemic.

Anonymous said...

I share Redbean's fear and worry.

If and when the people are priced out of their abilities to pay for neccessary medical treatments, there will always be danger that they forego medications.

This will result in calamity when the infection(s) turns deadly. And if coupled with operational hiccups and red tapes that cause further complications; we can imagine the situation.

It is time to work out and formulate contingency measures that will be effective and efficient in implementation.

Minister Khaw is wellknown and much respected for competency and efficiency and I strongly believe he and his Ministry will be very capable of devicing a comprehensive solution.

patriot

patriot

redbean said...

still remember many years back when there was a pandemic, polio or something. and the colonial govt got everyone immunised for free. poor peasants and coolies were everywhere queuing for free holy water from the colonial govt.

today, everyone can afford to pay, everything is affordable. and making profit is more important. so pay for holy water.

Anonymous said...

I think the healthcare system is going to create a disaster sooner or later if payments for voluntary testing for H1N1 are taken as the norm.

It is one thing for a healthcare system to charge according to what they think Singaporeans can afford to pay, but if one cannot pay, he or she is not going to go for the testing.

The fear is not sensing the dangers and just following the rules even in the event of a serious epidemic.

Perhaps our Singaporean society has too deep seated ideas about rules and regulations after years of peasanthood, that we are unable to make any decision beyond following the rule books.

Sad that we are coming to this stage despite all the proclamation of how much we have progressed economically.

Lost Citizen

Matilah_Singapura said...

> H1N1 is an epidemic that is going to affect the whole population. <

It's not an epidemic. It would help if you were more accurate with your premises.

> What if everyone finds this too expensive and refuses to seek treatment,

A test is not "treatment". Another flawed premise.

>
What would happen if the people find our medical fees too high and choose to skip treatments for all their deadly diseases and sickness? <


Has that happened? No.

Who is "people"? You mean you know EXACTLY ho ALL "people" would act in the unlikely event that everyone would get sick and in danger of dying?

Should that unlikely scenario occur, nothing is going to save anyone except pure luck (probability-based outcomes expressed as "personal experience")

> If they die, we can replace them with more migrants or with new citizens.

Now you're just being bone-head ridiculous.

> What if the diseases they are infected were highly infectious? Would it become a crime for not seeking treatment?

No it wouldn't be a crime. Under cases of "highly infectious" mass occurrence, those infected will be rounded up by the state, have their freedom taken away — for their own sake and for the sake of others who might not be infected — and placed into lock-down quarantine.

Please lah, being alarmist doesn't make you look good.

redbean said...

a test or a treatment, it is still expensive and some people may avoid it because it hurts their pockets. all you need is for it to be costly enough to keep away a few people harbouring infectious diseases and it will create havoc to the health of the population.

i am not alarmist. there must be a clear distinction in what should be paid and what should be the govt's responsibility and even absorbing the cost of tests and treatment.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> some people may avoid it because it hurts their pockets. <
Vague argument. How do you know "some" (??) people will avoid this? Couldn't there also be "kiasu" people rushing for tests — "pay pay lah neber-mind!!"

> keep away a few people harbouring infectious diseases and it will create havoc to the health of the population. <

Bullshit. Absolute bullshit.

There are people already with infectious diseases, and they are undiagnosed: HIV, other STDs, probably dengue, influenza... but mass infection has NOT occured, nor is it LIKELY to occur.

The "alarmist" label sticks. Ecery argument you make simply proves the label to be correct.

Matilah_Singapura said...

BTW, you still haven't made for CERTAIN whether it was a private or public hospital which levied the fee, neither have you specified the exact amount. If you have "either-or" how can you make a good case?

Matilah_Singapura said...

Wally:

> H1N1 is here to stay and we might as well bite the bullet, take on the virus and have immunity to the disease. <

That argument is specious and dangerous. It is the same argument made by a certain Dr Lee, neuroscientist. There is no certainty, in fact it is unlikely that "natural immunity" could be attained AUTOMATICALLY by the MAJORITY of the population. Add to that the fact that flu viruses adapt and mutate RAPIDLY and in UNPREDICTABLE ways.

Look up "herd immunity" on the net, starting with wikipedia. Herd immunity is attained by mass immunisation i.e. vaccination.

redbean:

I'll add "irresponsible" to my charge of being "alarmist" referring to your attitude and post on this matter:

Being responsible is making a CLEAR DISTINCTION between the necessity of getting tested by one's own choice and the COST of such testing.

If people suspect that they've been infected, they should get tested STRAIGHT AWAY. The issue of cost should not even be considered. Redbean, do the right thing and submit a post advising people to get tested if they have a strong suspicion of infection. If you are really serious about the cost issue, for goodness sake raise it with the state. This is a public health issue, and it could be serious. IMO, better to err on the side of caution and keep the discussion from sending out the "wrong" messages.

There are plenty of other topics where wrong, lewd and funny opinions make for exciting reading and whacked out arguments.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The skinny on swine flu (H1N1) from Doctors Steven Novella and Mark Crislip (who is an infectious disease doctor) on the Science Based Medicine Blog

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=484

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=479

redbean said...

matilah, what do you think i am doing here, just talking cock? i am raising the issue of cost here and the prohibitive cost that may made some people not to seek medical test or treatment. that is the whole point of this thread.

Denis Distant wrote in the ST on the same issue. govt reply that test is free, but one was charged $85 in one hospital, another was charged $214 for being kept under observation and waiting, for ward charges or things like that.

not many people can afford to pay this kind of money. it is easy to say that people who suspect that they are infected will go and seek treatment. in my earlier post, i mentioned about giving free health screening to the residents and they refused to attend for fear of followup treatment or medication.

the world is not so ideal as you might thought. $85 is a lot of money to the average singaporean. you want to pay $85 to confirm your suspicion. many won't.

Wally Buffet said...

Matilah,

Hehe, I see you have a new caricature! You must have swig one too many when you conjured this! Burp.......

H1N1 is just one of many virii now confirmed present amongst us. H2N6, H3N5, H3N4, H1N9, H3N2 et al is among us too and when we are free from mucking around with the current flavour of the month, we will work on the others. Whatever it is, humans must learn to live and co exist with the viral community. H1N1 is actually nature's way of doing quality control without the use of war machines.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> the world is not so ideal as you might thought. <

Oh. So now you know my thoughts? Where have I ever implied that the world is ideal? (I don't even know what you mean by "ideal")

> Denis Distant wrote in the ST on the same issue. <

How was I supposed to know? You never stated anything specific about the cost in your original post.

> you want to pay $85 to confirm your suspicion. many won't.<

I think you're getting ahead of yourself. The fact that the charge is in question is because of a misguided expectation. They went for the test — they didn't know or weren't informed of the charges beforehand (otherwise by your argument, they won't have gone in the first place).

Like I said, If you are serious about this — and not about winning a few brownie points arguing with me — raise the issue with the state. Hold their feet to the fire so that people will ACTUALLY KNOW what they are going to be charged or if the state is going to pick up the tab.

How I feel about it or whether or not I would pay $85 or $85 x 10^6 is completely irrelevant to the argument.

Anonymous said...

Yawn!

Mati tidak apa, style mahu

redbean said...

yep, betul cakap. dia mau style, mau menang, kasih dia menang. :)

matilah, not that i want to psycho analyse you. but the way you doctored people's photos says that you are mentally very challenged : )

Anonymous said...

Saba lah bangs.

Bila senang, kita minum kopi di kedai kopi Hong Lim Park, boleh ? Baik ?

Tapi, di sana, kopi mahal leh, nima dollar sa chawan.

Kita berbual dan gaduh gaduh sedikit di sini pun puas lah.

Happy arguing and let's all enjoy the fun of the company.

Cheer !

patriot

redbean said...

hi patriot,

i didn't know the honglim kopi is $5. what, coffeebean standard?

Anonymous said...

I was charged $5 when I had it with You and when I checked the receipt, it was five dollars alright.

patriot

redbean said...

canned drinks are cheaper. stay with canned drinks.

Anonymous said...

I proceed to People's Park for my drinks if I go Hong Lim Park after that occassion.

patriot

Wally Buffet said...

Patriot,

What? $5 for a cuppa? You're right. Proceed to the Hawker Centre atop CK departmental store in Chinatown. There, at a stall, you can have a beer at $6 and chat up with the foreign talent for free too.

Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wally;

thank You for the recommendation.

Much appreciated.

patriot