Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Trains Are Full

'Car Park Full' signs are common. Now recently we have 'Our Wards are Full' at Khoo Teck Puat hospital. This hospital is a recent addition to the healthcare scene and it is already overload.

So in the near future, we will have 'Our trains are Full' sign at MRT control stations. This will prevent overloading of the platform and stampede. Yeah, at this rate, it is a matter of time before we have a stampede due to overcrowding at MRT station.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Positive reinforcement instead of fine

The proposed pilot scheme on stray cats feeding requires stray feeders to register with Cat Welfare Society (CWS)and feeders will be fined if they do not clear up within 2 hours. We should use positive motivation instead of negative enforcement to get feeders to support the scheme.

These feeders are compassionate folks. With education and motivation they would make the effort to clean up after feeding. Fine will not work as they would quietly feed and make a quick 'exit' like what they are likely doing currently. Why should they opt to register with Cat Welfare Society which imposed membership fee and then be fined when they failed to clean up?

Some suggestions on positive reinforcement :

1)Pet shops owners be roped in to give a discount on purchase of cat food for registered stray feeders.

2)Get sponsorship from vet clinics to lower medical cost for stray feeders when they bring in both strays and their own pets for consultation.

3)Cat Welfare Society to waiver the membership fee for the 1st year for stray feeders registration.

Friday, November 4, 2011

21% increase in Medical Test !

Many of us do not go through the details in our medical bills, especially those hospitalization charges with a 'complicated' long list of billing. If we do, likely we are in for surprises. I have been billed wrongly 3 out of the 4 unlucky occasions when I ended up in hospital. Changi Hospital billed me for x-ray which was never done and overnight bed charges when it was a minor day surgery with no overnight observation. KK billed me for item which was not issued to me. Sigh....yes they make mistakes both human and system errors. I learn that Changi system will automatically reflects bed charges and has to be manually 'unchecked'. The nurse will presume x-ray is done if there is surgery.

Then the cost of medicine which I blogged about in my previous post. They are not subsidized ! As the amount is small, most patients thought they are subsidized. But the fact is they cost more than purchasing them from Guardian Pharmacy. Going by the large volume of patients per polyclinic per day - this could work out to a substantial sum !

I am diagnosed with Glaucoma in May this year. I am seeing the doctors at SNEC and applied for subsidy. Glaucoma can lead to blindness. The medical bill will be substantial over the years as the disease deteriorates.

We are at the mercy of the doctors regarding the frequency of consultation and medical tests done. So far I have gone for 5 consultations and 10 medical tests! The best part or rather the worst is one of the tests has 21% cost increase just over a period of 5 months ! As most patients do not go through their bill in detail, likely these so called government subsidized clinics and hospitals can get away with their profiteering at tax payers expense without being noticed. Government is subsidizing patients with tax payers' money, but are these Polyclinics and hospitals really passing on the cost back to the patients ?

Note : The eye test concern is taken as SNEC. It is called Optical Coherent Tomography which charges went from $56 to $68 (21% increase)

Pilot Scheme For Strays

Caregivers of strays and pet owners welcome the pilot scheme regarding feeding station for stray cats and registering of cat in HDB in near future. However the proposed scheme is likely to see teething issues in these areas :

1) The need for strays feeders to register with Cat Welfare Society (CWS) and feeders will be fined if they do not clear up within 2 hours. Those caregivers from CWS are responsible feeders. It is normally those who are not with any animal welfare groups who mess up the place. What is the likelihood of these folks registering themselves with CWS so that they can be identified to be fined ? For the scheme to be successful there must be active ground outreach program to identify and educate these feeders. Only then can CWS hope to get them to register themselves.

2) Most cats are territorial. Some estates have more profound strays issue than others. In certain HDB estate zones, there are more than 2 strays per block. To have only 1 feeding station per 3 blocks of flat will not work. It is more practical to have 1 feeding station per block.

3) The scheme allows registration of 1 cat per flat. What happen to those who have more cats? If forcefully implemented, then the rest will end up as strays or terminated. This will defeat the whole aim of the scheme which is to nurtured a more compassionate society. For the initial phrase, be more flexible and let owners registered all their cats with the understanding that they need to be responsible to ensure their pets don't give problem. Let this batch live out their live spans. Have a cut of date for registering for the initial batch of cats. After which it will be 1 cat per flat registration.

4) The key to success in this scheme is compulsory sterilization both pets and strays. The current program run by SPCA and CWS for strays sterilization is not 'user friendly'. It involves balloting for limited sterilization vouchers at SPCA or reimbursement and patronizing only approved vet clinics for CWS. If SPCA and other animal welfare group could come together to implement mobile vet services, this could enhance the success of the sterilization program and improve animal welfare.

This pilot scheme is a step in the right direction towards a more compassionate society. It is only when any culture has a sympathy for its animal companions, that it has a chance to become sensitive and caring in all respects.