Although the predominant printed press touts this change as a revamp, the change should be more accurately couched as tweaking. The 3Ms still form the bedrock of the national healthcare. The class-centric system of wards still control the reins of the government’s cautious subsidies.
To butt us out of the inertia of the status quo, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) unveiled a healthcare plan in March 2012. “The plan is a culmination of a nine-month study conducted by the party’s Healthcare Advisory Panel,” the party said. The group comprises of eminent medical practitioners and healthcare specialists who are concerned about the current state of medical care in Singapore.
The SDP’s plan promulgates a radical break from the architecture of 3Ms. Although co-payments are still a feature, the SDP wants compulsory coverage for Singaporeans that is limited by neither a citizen’s age nor a ceiling on the claimable amount. The contributions that citizens will be pooling together do not discriminate based on age, unlike Medishield whose premiums increase as age increases.
Intrigued by this alternative plan, publichouse.sg has conducted an interview with Dr Chee Soon Juan, the SDP’s secretary-general. Dr Chee contrasted not just the financial approaches but also the philosophical fundamentals of the status quo and the SDP’s proposal.
Publichouse.sg recognises that such a debate is paramount and should not be suspended in the theatre of political rivalries. Hence, we are keen on examining the lived experiences and expert opinions of our fellow Singaporeans in subsequent reports on the healthcare system that keeps our city throbbing with life.
We would thus like to invite members of the public to write in to us and share their experiences of the healthcare system in Singapore. We hope to publish a series of such stories in the lead-up to the short film which is focused on the SDP’s national plan.
The following are snippets from the interview with Dr Chee for the short film. This interview will be a springboard for further investigations into the relevance and viability of the SDP’s national healthcare plan.
The film, produced by the team at publichouse.sg, will be released in a few weeks here on this website.
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