The Minister for Health paid $8 for a bypass operations. This is low compared to what ordinary citizens have to pay for similar or less complicated operations, even when the citizens have Medishield and supplementary private covers similar to what was bought by the Minister.
One key reason is the ability to make the right decision in our complicated system. The Minister is probably more knowledgeable, compared to ordinary citizens, on what should or should not be spent and how to make the best use of the government facilities. Furthermore, he is likely to get the best advice from doctors who will look after his interest and help him to make the best decisions under the system.
Unfortunately, this type of helpful advice is not available to ordinary citizens who might have been asked to take more expensive tests and treatments (when cheaper options are available), due to the "conflict of interest" of the medical professionals - who earn a share of the medical charges.
I hope that the Minister for Health will set up a helpline to give the friendly advice to citizens on what they should do with their treatment, so that they can get the same help as the Minister probably had. And one more point, Minister. Please staff the helpline adequately, so that patients can get through without a long wait.
Tan Kin Lian
CALL FOR ACTION
If any reader of my blog has a personal experience of paying too much for your medical bill, in spite of your insurance coverage, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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