Amidst chaos there is a golden lining

The Middle East is in turmoil. New Zealand’s Christchurch is in rubbles with many dead or waiting to be rescued. The Asian stock markets tumbled with many incurring huge losses. Everything is looking bleak despite a people’s budget to help the lower income earners to overcome the inflation beast. But not all is lost or not all is bad news. I just read that there is a profession that could bring in a revenue of $24.8 m over 7 months of work. This works out to be roughly about $3.5m every month. Not bad for a job when compared to our ministers earning that in a year. Now I can even say that minister’s pay is peanuts. If there is any job that I wanna be, this must be the job, a surgeon. This is the bill Dr Susan Lim charged to her patient, a royalty from Brunei. The bill has become a controversy and is fully reported in the ST today. It was also reported that the final bill, after discounts and whatever, is now about a quarter of the original bill and still unpaid. Even at one quarter the sum of $800k a month is still a princely sum. All I can say is nice. I wish I could have such an income. I am drooling and all wet thinking of the bill. World class medical treatment will come with world class bill for world class quality of professional services. You want the best, be prepared to pay for the best. Is this a Guinness Record? A $8 bill for a heart bypass must be a steal. Please don't complain about how expensive our public privatised hospital bills are. Be really grateful.


Wally Buffet said...

I am calling for an emergency meeting of the family council and get all my sons to stop all the nonsensical jobs they are now employed and start studying to be a surgeon specializing only in treating royalties and people who are worth at least a billion US$ so the multimillion dollar bills can be paid, even if haggled over.

If it's that fucking lucrative, it's worthwhile to burn the midnight oil to get that Fellow of the Royal this and that College of Surgeons so they can start cutting into that billion dollar body filled with 5 carat cut and polished diamonds!

What the fuck! Are we talking about 24.8 million rupiahs?

And you guys are whining about our able leaders getting that pittance of a pay to get Singapore from third world to first? If we had not arrived in the first world, would a third world surgeon be able to command that kind of fees?

Ingrates. That's what we are!

What is this world coming to?

$8 heart bypass?

That's a steal man!

Hehe. :o)

Anonymous said...

More like ludicrous.
If the patient pays up with a 90% rebate, he or she becomes an instant folly instead of a blue blood royalty.
Well, mankind is making the world crazy, so crazy as it maybe, it happens!

Matilah_Singapura said...

Rank has its privileges, and you would expect royalty to pay "exclusive" fees for "exclusive" service.

You are talking about the position of "royal physician/ surgeon" here.

The patient-doctor relationship in this case is voluntary and terms of the relationship have been agreed to. so why is everyone becoming kay-poh chee busy body? Why do you care what a doctor charges his/ her patient?

Anyway, as for me -- I want the doctor treating me/ the surgeon cutting me to be rich and happy, because I contend that the service and skill will be superlative in nature.

Imagine if the doctor/ surgeon cutting you up was a sour-faced over-worked and underpaid unlucky schmuck working for something like the Polyclinic or some other socialised welfare-state healthcare system...are you nuts?

Look at the spectacular failures of public health systems all over the world.

Of course it is only a matter of time before Singapore follows suit and ramps up the current system into a full-blown welfare-state style free for all. Many people will be cheering when this happens. And me too -- because there is lots of money to be made in impending failure, and at some point ALL public healthcare systems FAIL -- mostly catastrophically.

Anonymous said...

In the end still 'Ashes to ashes and dust to dust'.

Anonymous said...

I know of one cancer doctor (always feature in mind your body article) in The Strait Time stays in big houses in ladyhill in orchard road. His professional charges can kill you before you are treated.

Wally Buffet said...

You sure or not?

He sounds very sincere and down to earth leh. Absolutely a good jolly fella.

Maybe his old man gave him the house.

If you've got cancer, the battle is already lost before you start spending a penny.

Most "cure" are intercession by God rather than treatment IMHO.

That's where your karmic deeds in your previous life will determine your fate.

Hehe. :o)

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

You need talent to command that kind of fees.

Wally Buffet said...

You need "kangtao" or the good clients willing to pay to command that kind of fees.

An outstanding surgeon with only HDB three room dwellers as patients sure ain't gonna excel as far as the billing department is concerned.

A lawyer in one of the "big boys" firms is just an average mouthpiece. Give him a big client to handle and his billing department will be very busy, scratching their heads on how to extract maximum income from the account.

Wang said...

Before all of you go off on the deep end, if you were to google, inclusive are the following points:-

a) treatment period over 7 months.
b) trips to the aforesaid area
c) setting up of the operating areas and treatment areas and medical etcs in a purpose built area within the royal hospital.


Anonymous said...

Wow, the ST featured that story? Sorry, I don't read ST.

Controversy because of overcharging or what? How can 'suka suka' reduce the fees to a quarter of the original bill? So, the charging of the fees is just also 'suka suka' style. How can? Must have some basis. Surgeons with sharp knives also cannot anyhow cut, royalty or not.

Nowadays like no 'Cheng Hu' or Heaven. Heaven also got eyes hor!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Wang, welcome to the blog.

We are all marvelling at the big bill and not arguing about the merits of the case. It is indeed a funny case. Before the case was even brought up, our eminent doctors must have gone through the bills to make a preliminary judgement on whether there is or there isn't a need for Susan Lim to answer.

The whole rigmaro seems like going out of hand and comes to nothing. With so much publicity that makes everyone looking so bad, very unnecessary. But more bills to be paid to the legal friends. Good for the economy.

agongkia said...

yalor,why kaypo..
Who knows there may a "special operation" being carried out between the patient and the surgeon on top of the normal operation that you people may not know?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

This is getting more exciting with the information in the media today.

I still want to be a top notch surgeon. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to help the sick and offer them TLC. Doctoring is a noble profession.

Wally Buffet said...

After the emergency meeting of the family council, it was unanimously resolved that the boys should just carry on with the mundane work they are now doing and earn pittance just above poverty rate but have a good night's sleep everyday.

The monkeying around with billing as reported, in order to earn that astronomical fee and its subsequent aftermath is not worth the effort.

Motion carried.

Back to the dreary work boys.

ps. Prof. Bean, you can't be a top notch surgeon even if you want to because at your age and mine, wherever we hold a scalpel, our unsteady hands may just drop the darn thing onto the patient.

Hehe. :o)

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I like to day dream, Wally.


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Looking at the issue in another way, if you want and demand the services of the very best, you must be prepared to pay for it. And this kind of thing is priceless, just like a piece of art. How could people pay millions for a few drops of paint on a piece of canvas? It defies logic and no loner logical except a case of demand and supply.

The good doctor can demand her price if they patient is willing the pay for it. The revealing of how the bills are being bumped up is another story. It looks ludicrous and in bad taste. But is it wrong?

The big merchants in the shopping complexes are marking up their items by 100 or 200% or more. It is biz. And they is a saying, you get what you pay for. The more you pay, the better is the service or product. This is Singaporean truism. The quality is in the money.

Anonymous said...

"The monkeying around with billing as reported, in order to earn that astronomical fee....."

Some people must have found an alternative way to heaven by charging astronomical fee, because astronomy involves the study of the heavens. Have they discovered some secret that we do not know of?

Anonymous said...

"Looking at the issue in another way, if you want and demand the services of the very best, you must be prepared to pay for it"

I believe Dr Bean is serious, considering that he had been grinding axes with minister's salaries in some earlier post.

Pardon me, if I remember wrongly. Or was that in someone else's blog? My aging memory is not that good.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Heheh, sometimes I myself also dunno if I am serious or not.

Anonymous said...

The size of the mark ups in the bills indicates a kind of mental illness.

Wally Buffet said...

Something more profoundly disturbing I'll say......

Hehe. :o)

Anonymous said...

A bad name for the 'medical hub' to be. It will only get worse because greed knows no bounds.

We already are severely tarnished as an 'education hub'.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Yep, I agree our medical hub will take a hit because of this episode.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the greed has also spread to a once respected profession.