Today’s ST is hinting that the Medisave, currently with a minimum sum of $41k will not be enough. What it means, very likely, is that Medisave will have to go up to $100k or more. An admission for a major operation would easily cost a few hundred thousands. So what is $41k?
The ridiculous cost of medical fees here is running out of control. The average Singaporeans will never have enough to pay for one admission to a hospital. Keep raising Medisave minimum sum is like raising COEs or ERP charges. It is a fictitious solution that Ah Long also knows. There must be a cheaper alternative.
The problems of Singapore present great opportunities for Malaysia in Iskandar Economic Zone. If only Iskandar can offer an equivalent medical facility and standard and charging in ringgits, a large portion of Singaporeans needing medical care and major ops will have no choice but be in Iskandar. And this is high skill services which the Malaysian govt will be most interested to set up to compete with Singapore. If Malaysia can capitalize on their comparative advantage, lay down the red carpet, make immigration and travelling efficient and smooth, there is no stopping Singaporeans going over, which means a sophisticated medical hub in the making.
But they must make their policies clear and not be confused and dragged down by parochial politickings. It is likely that political tension can be drummed up, like Singaporeans clogging up their roads, Singaporeans raising the cost of living, Singaporeans buying up the houses, Singaporeans taking advantage of cheaper medical services in Iskandar, etc etc.
When Iskandar is successful, there will be more foreign investments and presence in Iskandar and Johore and competing for goods and services. Is that something that the Malaysian govt wants and can live with? If that is what they want and will not be pressurized by domestic politics, a medical hub is the way to go.
The average Singaporeans will definitely welcome such an alternative. And there could be many alternatives that the Malaysian govt can provide, cheaper and even better than Singapore, if they are clear in what they want.