Earlier this month, in the comments section of one of our posts, a reader disagreed with me that abuse of the healthcare system exists. She asked:
I believe no one likes to fall ill. No one wants to be sick. Therefore,
tell me who is there to abuse system?
Well, in his first blog post as Health Minister, Mr Gan Kim Yong writes:
We will have to review our funding framework, as well as the various financial assistance schemes, and make the necessary adjustments to ensure they remain appropriate and effective in helping Singaporeans cope with healthcare costs and yet prevent wastage or abuse.
Now this does not mean that the Health Minister *knows* that abuse exists, but it does mean that the feedback he received from healthcare workers is that it does exist; so if you think that the existence of abuse is merely a figment of my imagination, well, now you know.
To simply say: "let's subsidise more" is the populist and easy solution in the short term, but it does seem that Mr Gan is not going down that route.
Longtime readers of the blog will know that I am against our current subsidised healthcare system because of the lack of moral courage in policing and stopping abuse, and that the way to stretch our healthcare money is not to simply put more into the budget, but to cut waste. Will a new minister and new policies make me change my attitude towards subsidised healthcare? Well, we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?