This is why the SDP proposes our healthcare plan

June 15, 2012
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

Mr Ivan Lim was working in a hotel taking care of floral arrangements. He left the job to start his own floral business. But tragedy struck when some of his family members passed away and left him with a huge debt. 

Mr Lim was also a diabetic. Becuase of his financial problems, he was not able to afford the prescribed medication and resorted to cutting back on his medication by stretching his one-month prescription into three months.

As a result, his condition worsened and he eventually had to have his leg amputated. He is unable to find a regular job and now works from home. He requires financial assistance.

Another, more recent case that the SDP came across, is that of Mr Dawart Abdul. Mr Dalwart is 88 years old and suffers from problems to his prostate which causes him to urinate uncontrollably. As a result, his flat reeks of a foul odour.  

Mr Dawart had been having this problem for years but did not seek medical treatment because he could not afford it.

Mr Lim and Mr Dawart are the reasons why the SDP has come up with our National Healthcare Plan. Unlike the present system where medical costs are passed on to the patient, the SDP Plan puts the onus of paying for healthcare expenses back onto the Government.

Ivan Lim with Chee Siok Chin

Under our plan, Mr Lim would have had to contribute a small amount of a few hundred dollars per year from his CPF into the National Health Investment Fund (NHIF). All the money in his Medisave would be returned to his CPF account.

Mr Lim would then have a peace of mind to see his doctor and get treatment because he would only pay from his own pocket 10 percent of his medical bill. The remaining 90 percent would be paid by the Government.

If for some reason he was out of a job, he would not have to pay into the NHIF but would still have his medical expenses taken care of by the Government.

Similarly, Mr Dalwart would be able to get his prostate illness treated without having to worry about whether he can afford it or not. Given his age and income status, the NHIF take care of his medical expenses.

The two men are just two examples of many more Singaporeans who are not getting the medical attention they need because of prohibitive healthcare expenses in Singapore. It is the lower-income groups whose health are not well taken care of because of expensive medical care.

Dawart Abdul in Dr Leong Yan Hoi’s clinic

The PAP has been neglecting its duty by cutting back on the Government’s contribution of the national healthcare expenditure from a high of about 70 percent in the 1960s and 70s to a low of 30 percent presently.

Instead, it gets into the corporate world where it has no business in by setting up GLCs whose performances are questionable. It chokes up hundreds of billions of dollars in the GIC and Temasek Holdings by withholding our CPF savings as well as levying taxes and fees on almost everything it can think of.

And while Singaporeans like Ivan Lim and Dalwart Abdul suffer in silence, the PAP continues to enjoy the luxury and power that it monopolises.

Our nation’s healthcare problem has become dire and it badly needs a revamp. The SDP National Healthcare Plan addresses this issue and provides Singapore a universal, affordable – and most importantly – caring healthcare system.