Which hospital is that again, Mr Lee?

The Rhetoric

“We run a (healthcare) system where you have to co-pay…but you get the attention…In Singapore, within half-an-hour, you would be in SGH (Singapore General Hospital), TTSH (Tan Tock Seng Hospital)…and within one-and-a-half to two hours flat, you’d know what went wrong.”
– MM Lee Kuan Yew on the state of Singapore hospitals after his wife was flown home from London after suffering a stroke there, Today, Nov 3, 2003

The Reality

My dad was sent to the A&E department three times in two months because of stroke and, each time, my family had to wait at least six hours before he was pushed to a ward…When my dad finally got to the ward, it was past 2am. And we had arrived at the A&E department about 7pm; it took more than six hours before my dad was seen by a neurologist. If my dad had been taken to the ward earlier and been treated by a neurologist, his chances of living might be higher…The neurologist told us that my dad had the worst kind of stroke anyone could get. Sadly, he was pronounced brain dead the next day.

– Ms Tan Tze Yee, author of the above letter, Straits Times Forum, Aug 18, 2005

 Recently, my father, who is in his late 70s and has multiple illnesses and end-stage renal failure, had to wait seven hours for a bed at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). We were told that as no bed was available, he would be placed in the observation ward first. This had happened many times before and we were prepared to wait for one to two hours for a bed for him…However, it was not until seven hours later that he was wheeled into the ward. During this time, no doctor came to see him.

– Ms Rodziah Shaari, author of the above letter, Straits Times Forum, Aug 13, 2005

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