Elderly couple walks 1 km home after visiting polyclinic

July 19, 2012
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

An elderly couple, let’s call themthe Lims, had to walk all the way home because they were left without money after they paid the doctor’s fees at the polyclinic in ToaPayoh. (Watch video below)$CUT$

Mdm Lim was bent over from the waistand could hardly walk. But she had to prop up her octogenarian husband who was even more frail and lead him because he is blind.

As the elderly couple shuffled theirway home, they stumbled and nearly fell on a few occasions. They wereboth panting and had to sit down every 100 feet or so to rest.

Mdm Lim had to stop several times asshe straightened up to take a breath before continuing. “I am verytired,” she groaned.

How far did they have to walk? From thepolyclinic in Lorong 8 Toa Payoh to their flat near Toa Payoh Centralis at least one kilometre! And they could not take the shortest routebecause Grandpa Lim had to find spots along the curb that had ramps for the disabled to walk as his legs were so weak he couldn’t lift ithigh enough to step onto the curb.

But why did they not take a taxi? Mdm Lim said that after they paid their polyclinic fees, they didn’t haveenough money. And so they walked.

“I asked them if we could use ourCPF, the staff said no,” Mdm Lim said, speaking in Teochew. “They said we had to pay cash.” The couplehave no children.

Why do we have a system that treats ourelderly citizens so shabbily? It is bad enough that the system does not provide free medical care for the couple, but it forces them to use cash even though they have funds in their CPF (and they are already in their eighties). They need the cash for their daily living. 

The money that she used to pay the doctor’s fees left them without cash for transport, forcing the doddering couple on a perilous walk home. They took more than one hour to walk home and would have fallendown if no one had helped them.

The Lims are the reason why the SDPputs forward our National Healthcare Plan. Under our Plan folkslike them would not have to pay for their polyclinic consultation andmedication. They would come under our Full Subsidy scheme where thegovernment pays their medical expenses.

Unfortunately, under the currentsystem, the Lims struggle for their lives even as the Governmentcollects more taxes and withholds our CPF funds to stuff the bloated reserves which they take to conduct business all over the world.

And while the ministers shower themselves with million-dollar salaries, they maintain a system that leaves the elderlypoor like the Lims withoutsupport. It is a system gone mad.

Read also: SDP visit the Lims