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Public hospitals, Private companies and Medishield Life

Public hospitals are divided into geographical clusters and operated by private companies.

The private companies are Singapore Health Services Pte Ltd (SingHealth), National Healthcare Group Pte Ltd (NHG) and National University Health System (NUHS).

Shares in SingHealth and NHG are held by the Ministry of Health Holdings Pte Ltd (MOH Holdings). NUHS is a joint venture between NUS and MOH Holdings.

In turn, MOH Holdings is privately owned, wholly or partially, by the government.

As these are private companies, they are therefore funded privately, either by private owners, the government or profits from running the hospitals, or all three.

They do not issue shares to the public. As such, they do not need to submit financial statements to the stock exchange for public scrutiny. Needless to say, they are profit seeking entities.

The good thing is that since they are subject to market forces, at least partially, standards of health care is good. Also, even though they charge market prices, Singaporeans and PRs are subsidized.

I am writing this because I am rather vexed that the Government is running profit seeking private companies, because, one way or another, state resources will be used, but it is not accountable to the public.

Also, besides the Government, there may be other corporate or individual shareholders, who would be benefiting from state resources. If there are, who are these shareholders?

What’s worse, they operate public hospitals providing essential medical services which every citizen should have access. Yet, they are profit seeking entities purporting to provide a public good. In time to come, the people may have to pay an arm and a leg, for essential medical services.

Certainly, something is not right and there is a conflict of interest.

This brings me to Medishield Life. It is a non-profit, mandatory hospitalization insurance for Singaporeans and PRs administered by CPF, a government statutory board.

As the entity representing the people, Medishield Life has a duty to ensure that the people get their money’s worth for every cent that they pay in insurance premium.

Yet, Medishield Life and MOH Holdings both report to the Government. What is to prevent the Government from getting Medishield Life to increase premiums so that MOH Holdings can have a better bottom line?

Therefore, decisions to increase premiums cannot be made unitarily, but has to be debated in parliament. Medishield Life has to be transparent with its accounts and MPs have to scrutinize all financial assumptions, including basis for so-called medical inflation.

Unfortunately, we now live in a business-run society. Public good that were once provided by the state for a minimal sum, is now privatized to seek maximum profit, benefiting a small segment of society enormously. The people have to be ever vigilant.

 

Foong Swee Fong

 

 

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13 Responses to “Public hospitals, Private companies and Medishield Life”

  • Schemes:

    All these schemes are scheming. Period.

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  • xoxo:

    oh,whats wrong with collecting money?
    Nothing else matter.
    We are PAP or Pay And Pay!

    You dont like us,why vote us?
    You are indeed daft!

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  • xoxo:

    it is clear the PAP GOVT enjoys collecting more money from ordinary sgs to fund their reckless $quandering!!!

    Sgs seem not to mind getting $CREWED!
    So,it becomes a habit for the GREEDY N SQUANDERING GOVT to raise fees,GST,Levies and whatnot$!

    You *REAP* WHAT you VOTED???

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  • TUMASIK Patriot:

    What can I say but sighhhh!!! being a regular visitor to all three entities clinics, specialists and Hospital stay…

    A retired doctor friend of mine now a volunteer Palliative Care provider @Hospices told me that they will drain every single cent if they can in your Medisave and families too if insufficient and at the end of the day you still DIE not that you can LIVE longer but poorer…

    A digit that is all you are not a Human but a simple digit

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  • TreSCREWED:

    WP needs to bring in

    TOWN HALL

    meeting of its residents to discuss this issue… Period

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  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    “Certainly, something is not right and there is a conflict of interest.”

    Certainly. Govts should not be in business or running them. They should govern and leave businesses to businessmen.

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  • Kettle and Pots Are Both Black:

    HK TV Drama produced by TVB “Big White Duel – 白色強人” not too long ago depicted some important messages which highlighted some pertinent issues of privatising or rather corporatising the public health care in the country. Especially those in the lower rungs of the society will feel the most if this is to happen.

    The Storyline
    Big White Duel focuses on the politics behind the healthcare industry in Hong Kong.

    It centers on Dr. Yeung (Roger Kwok), the deputy director of Ming Shing North Hospital. He proposes a plan to completely change the hospital’s bureaucratic model, but is met with opposition from Dr. Tong (Kenneth Ma), head of the hospital’s cardiology department. Tong believed that Yeung’s proposed changes could affect the poor’s accessibility to healthcare.

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  • I Know:

    The schemeis aimed at locking in CPF funds and bring in more cash so CPF Board can buy more Temasek bonds. FT do not contribute to CPF and CPF drawdowns have increased due to the growing pool of older citizens so CPF has a cashflow problem.

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  • SINGAPORE — Three-hundred and forty-two migrant workers residing in the [email protected] dormitory have been isolated in a government quarantine facility after a new Covid-19 case was detected there.

    $$$$$$

    WILL THIS TESTING EVER ENDS ???

    NO, NOT WITH JT AS MINISTER !!!

    JLN BESAR RESIDENTS ARE THE ” DAFTS ”

    By lky’s definition. Period

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  • thieves & robbers of sgs:

    we should be covered for any minor or major ailment.
    most of us have been paying into Medishield and medisave for decades but seldom or never claimed anything.
    wtf. they know how to deduct from us whenever they want but when comes to us claiming for our medical costs, they want to be choosy and selective.
    who the hell they think they are.
    acting like pimps. living off hardworking sgs…
    to the 61%voters, you all happy now?
    not too long ago i read that if theres no money in your medisave account to deduct from, gov will deduct from your cpf…
    if cpf not enough theyll forcibly deduct from your bank accounts..if that fails too, theyll charge you..
    OMG.
    is all that still so?
    are they so hard up of our monies?
    that proves how inept the GIC is..not able to INVEST our sgs tax payers money efficiently.
    always money no enough.
    they might as well all stand down and let better candidates take over…im sure theyll do a better job!

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  • Do more please:

    Medical care should be provide at affordable rate for those that need it most, especially the MG and PG Generation.
    This is to ensure that they will seek medical help early and not delay because of the costs. It will only make their illness condition worse.
    More so when most of them are not working with very little savings.
    Our CPF system has failed them to provide adequate savings to take care of their medical and retirements needs as most of their CPF money went to housing.

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  • Harder Truths:

    The ‘public’ hospitals do not provide a cheaper rate. The money is taken out of your other ‘contributions’ to the regime. Real public healthcare in first world countries NEVER makes money. They are a social service.

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Reported on ST :Quote -”STA Travel, which ceased operations in September, owes customers and former staff $1m

    Tour agency STA Travel owes its creditors nearly $1.43 million.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
    PUBLISHED2 HOURS AGO
    FACEBOOKWHATSAPPTWITTER
    Jessie Lim
    SINGAPORE – Tour agency STA Travel, which is being wound up after it stopped operations last month, owes its creditors – mainly customers and former employees – nearly $1.43 million, according to a financial statement that was prepared by the firm’s directors and seen by The Straits Times.

    The statement of the company’s assets and liabilities – as of Sept 10 – was shown to the creditors at their meeting with provisional liquidator Deloitte and Touche on Friday (Oct 2)…”Unquote.

    Response :Tour agency STA Travel owes its creditors nearly $1.43 million ??? So no need to arrest all those women directors and hauled them out to be charged to bankruptcy and get back all their assets to pay back debtors ? Cannot be using public funds to help them pay their debts ,right ?

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