Wednesday, March 21, 2007

No free lunches in our Healthcare System

Medical Standard in Singapore is high but many do not wish to pay the higher cost that comes with it. They will ask for high standard and expect the government to pay for it. This is not viable.

This is the platform where the 3M system develops over the past 2 decades.

Layer 1 – Medisave - 1984
It forces individuals to put aside part of their income into their Medisave Account. Money from the account can be used to pay their medical expenses. This fund is capable of paying minor hospital and outpatient bills.

Layer 2 – Medishield - 1990
It is an insurance scheme which CPF Board administers. This insurance is capable of paying major hospital bills in heavily subsidized hospitals. There are many insurance companies that mimic this insurance for those who wants to stay in better hospital and wards.

Layer 3 – Medifund - 1993
It is a tax funded scheme which government pays or subsidizes the needy who cannot afford basic healthcare expenses. The fund currently stands at S$1.1 billion. The interest income from this fund is being utilized to finance this scheme.

Hence there are 2 ways to get a free Healthcare service.
1) You are very very poor. Government uses the tax collected from the people to pay your bills.
2) You are not so poor. You buy an insurance and insurance company pays your bill.

Either way, it’s the people who are paying the bills. Waiting for Government to pay for you? Haha... Remember “There are no Free Lunch in Singapore(Probably Until Elections)”

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