Saturday, March 04, 2017

Many people complained that health care is very costly in Singapore. They say, "Can die but cannot fall sight".

They also said that the government is not spending enough on health care.

This is wrong. The government is spending a lot of money on health care. The per capita spending of US$4,000 in 2014 in Singapore is comparable to UK, Australia, Canada

Our problem is that our charges, both in public and private hospitals, are too high.

Recently, I went to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital to do a pre-check for a colonoscopy. I was told that the procedure takes 15 minutes. The charge is $1,900 before government subsidy. I also have to pay separately for the pre-check and post-check.

Someone went to a private hospital and said that he paid $2,200.

A former Singaporean, who now lives in Australia, said that the cost is much lower in Australia. I checked Google and found that the fee varied widely from A$150 to $750 but could go as high as A$4000.

I also had to spend a lot of time at the polyclinic and the hospital for the pre-check. Much of the time is spent waiting and going through two risk evaluation. I was also advised about the risk of colonoscopy. The risks were so small - I don't know why we have to spend so much time on it. Was it to justify the high charge?

We are wasteful as a nation. Our cost is too high. We are costly because we do a lot of unnecessary activities. The excuse is "to follow global standards". Surely, the global standards should inclue "keep our cost affordable?"

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Air con in the bus broke down

Bus 163 was stuffy and hot. The aircon was not working. After 5 minutes, I walked up the bus to ask the driver - "Is the aircon working?".

He replied, "Oh. Let me check". He tested the vent at the driver seat. Little air, not cold. He walked to the back of the bus and came back. "Yeah. Not working. No wonder the bus was hot".

He waited a few more stops. Still not working. He called the control room and reported the air con was not working. The control room asked him to send the bus back to the depot to check.

He stood up and announced in a loud voice - "Sorry, to report that the air con is not working. I have to drive back to the depot. Don't worry. I will continue the rest of the journey to the destination. Just to let you know the air con is not working".

Well - the bus does not have a public address system. It should have one. It is not expensive.

A more worrisome sign for PM Lee and his ministers. He has conditioned Singaporeans to be so obedient and apathetic that nobody bothered that the air con was not working. They don't care if the bus was stuffy and hot. They accepted it, without any complaint.

After alighting the bus, I walked to my office. There was a slight breeze, so it was refreshing. Although it was under the sun, it was more comfortable that the hot and stuffy bus.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

My views about Budget 2017 - TOC / Maruah Forum

Here is a video giving my views about Budget 2017. The forum was organised by The Online Citizen and Maruah.

I expressed DISAPPOINTMENT at budget 2017 . I gave my reasons and what measures should be taken to address the real challenges facing Singapore.

How does the shape puzzle help to teach problem solving?

Someone asked me - how does my 1 hour tutorial help in learning on problem solving?

I said - watch this video

You can register to attend the next tutorial here:

You can bring your child along, or just come on your own. You can teach your child separately. I will be good bonding.

Make decisions based on understanding the data

Last night, I was surprised to see that Bus 163 was only half full. Today, I observed that two buses under service 163 came within 1 minute of each other. The second bus was almost empty.

Has the Land Transport Authority increased the buses for this capacity. Is it due to my frequent "observations" in Facebook?

Is this how the LTA decide on changing the capacity of each bus, based on observations in Facebook?

Do they monitor the occupancy of each bus? Do they know how to do it? If they don't know how to analyze the data, they can ask me. I have a lot of experience in this area.

Don't worry, LTA. I will donate my service for free. I know you don't have the budget for this kind of work. But you do have several billions for MRT lines and roads, right?

Tutorial on problem solving

ne participant at the tutorial last week liked the concept of problem solving. He bought 3 sets of the books on Tangram and Shape Quiz at $5 each. He enjoyed a discount from the normal price of $6.

Another participant bought 10 sets of the Shape Quiz mini-paks to give away to her property clients. She thinks that the clients will enjoy them.

I am holding another tutorial this Saturday.

You can view the books at

My experience at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

I went to Khoo Teck Puat hospital for an appointment to have a pre-check for a colonoscopy. I waited 1 hour to see the doctor for 10 minutes. I waited another 45 minutes to see the financial counsellor for 5 mins and another 10 minutes to pay my bill.

The doctor asked - Do you need an MC? I replied "No".

I actually needed a "Waiting Certificate". It should state that Mr. Tan Kin Lian is not sick. But he had to spend half a day waiting in the hospital.

I wonder why the hospital needed the patients to spend so much time waiting? I am very annoyed at waiting for the financial counsellor who explains to me how much the operation will cost. Do I have any choice?

I was quite surprised that the colonoscopy cost almost $2,000! After government subsidy, I still have to pay $900 plus for a 15 minute operation.

The financial counsellor said, "You can pay by Medisave. After deducting Medisave, you only pay $30". Wow - as if Medisave is Government's money!

I told her that I would pay cash.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Choosing your Shield plan

Many people ask for my views on choosing between different Shield plans. I ask them to read this article.

Seminar on financial and heart health

Register now for this free seminar on financial health and heart health.

Are you health financially?

Check out with this short video

Help you child to learn an important life skill

Give your child the chance to learn an important life skill and have the chance to bond with your child.

Register with your child to attend this 1 hour tutorial on Saturday.

Mr. Tan uses the shape quiz to explain the principles of problem solving. You must understand what the problem is, where to start and what the solution looks like.

This tutorial is targeted at adults and children 8 years and older. Children have to be accompanied by adults.

You can learn the technique and teach the principles to your children. Teach them the approach and give them the confidence to deal with unexpected problems. This will be an important life skill

Monday, February 27, 2017

What work does the Transport Minister do?

Sometimes I wonder what work does the transport minister do? How does he spends his time each working day?

There are many expensive development projects on our MRT system and road construction that is happening all over the island. Do they take a lot of his time?

As the transport minister, he has to decide on how the billion dollars budget have to be spent. I expect him to evaluate each project to decide if they are worth spending and if they are too costly. By comparing with similar projects in other developed countries, he would be able to make that decision, with his in-house experts in the ministry and the land transport authority.

I do not expect him to be an engineering expert or a land transport expert. There are people who are capable of looking at the technical issues. But I expect him to make the evaluation and high level decision. In Singapore, these major decisions have to be approved by the cabinet anyway.

There is an important area that the transport minister can pay attention to. A lot of improvements can be made to the transport system just by paying attention to how they impact on the ordinary people. Simple changes to the system can make a big difference.

For example, are some bus services under-utilised and other services packed with passengers? A simple change to the allocation of buses to the various services can do a great deal of good.

The transport minister does not even have to look at the specific details. He only needs to pay attention and ask the relevant agency, i.e. the Land Transport Authority, for the answer. By asking the right questions, a lot of improvement can be made.

He can also improve the bus service significantly by providing voice or display announcements of the bus stops. This simple to implement and does not cost much money.

I hope that our transport minister will pay attention to the common sense issues as well. They are the low lying fruit that can be plugged easily.  They should get as much attention as the mega projects that are beyond his personal scope anyway.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The tutorial on problem solving is now open to children

This tutorial is now open to children 8 years and older, if accompanied by their parent or grandparent.

Talk presented by Mr. Tan Kin Lian.

Mr. Tan uses the shape quiz to explain the principles of problem solving. You must understand what the problem is, where to start and what the solution looks like.

This tutorial is targeted at adults and children 8 years and older. Children have to be accompanied by adults.

You can learn the technique and teach the principles to your children. Teach them the approach and give them the confidence to deal with unexpected problems. This will be an important life skill

Excellent rating for OPPO customer service

I received a request from OPPO (mobile phone manufacturer) to give my feedback on their customer service. I have to submit an online survey form.

Their survey form is well designed with 3 relevant questions. I have to score their service with 1 to 10. I gave them 10 (top score).

They have a column for a comment. I gave the following:

OPPO has the best customer service in the whole of Singapore. It is easy to locate your online page to submit a request by email. You asked for only my name, email and my issue.

I was also able to see the hotline number. I called it and was served by a person, after just 1 or 2 screening questions. Your staff provided excellent service.

Well done, OPPO.

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