Friday, March 30, 2012

Medical fee being increased on the sly

Govt under PAP says they will 'ensure' healthcare is 'affordable'. But hospital is increasing healthcare cost on the 'sly'.

Take for example, after the announcement that healthcare folks will be better paid, S'pore National Eye Centre (SNEC) increased their consultation fee from $56 to $59 (5% increase) this month for non-subsidized patients. For those under subsidy it is from $29 to $32 (10% increase). Thus increase in fee in terms of percentage is more subsidized patients and they also bear the full increase of the fee. Is this logical ? Why make the needy folks bear the full increase in fee ? Are they making patients pay for the increase salary of healthcare professional?

Last year SNEC increased the cost of an eye test (optical coherent tomography) from $56 to $68 - for non-subsidized patients and from $28 to $34 for subsidized patients. Thus it is $12 increase for non-subsidized patients and $6 for subsidized patients. This is a 21% increase in fee ! The only consolation is that at least subsidized patients don't end up bearing the full burden of the increase. Now they are getting more heartless !

The issue is many senior citizens will end up with some form of eye problems as we aged. For eye problems, we cannot go to polyclinic but need to be under by specialist care. The consultation fee, eye tests and medication are so expensive. Medisave cannot be used for all these medical cost. This is one area of heavy healthcare expenditure that needs attention.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

All that glitter is NOT Gold

On the surface, things seems well in S'pore. But could it be case of a rotten apple hidden in a nice package ? There have been many major hiccups in recent years - from failure in our transport system to flooding in Orchard Road which is unimaginable in the past. These are some examples that affects our daily lives. But the more worrisome are escalating housing and healthcare cost that have a heavy impact on us.

These are term 'affordable' by our govt. I suppose we need to redefine the meaning of affordable which would only apply uniquely to S'pore.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


In recent years, more and more S'poreans are experiencing a sense of insecurity about their future. Unless one belongs to the rich elite class, ordinary citizens are unsure if they could meet the escalating cost of living and healthcare expenses during their retirement.

This happen inspite of a life time of saving and the various policies the govt under PAP have implemented over the years. Sigh - most of us are entangled and trapped by the CPF web with no light in sight.

All these funds set up under CPF over the years show that the whole framework is a shamble. CPF Board tries to patch up pot holes when it appears by introducing more complicated policies which resulted in all of our hard earn saving being tied down forever.

Going by the list - it is mind boggling and common sense tell us all is not right. Yet the PAP keep coming up with more shitty policies. The latest being CPF Life.

1) CPF Ordinary A/C - most of our fund is suck up by what the PAP term 'affordable' public housing which cost up half a million.

2) Special A/C - this saving is suppose to be 'untouchable' so that it could be transfer to retirement A/C. But CPF relax the ruling. This could have contributed to the statistic that many could not even meet the CPF minimum sum.

3) Retirement A/C - all our saving is lock up in this A/C upon reaching 55. The minimum sum keeps increasing every year but the interest rate remains stagnant. Worst, it is well below the inflation rate for decades. Those who are in dire situation will be in for hard time as they have to wait for 10 years before their own money is being dish out to them in merge sum monthly.

4) Medisave A/C - this is to cover healthcare cost NOT cover by Medishield (insurance). Makes one wonder why on earth we buy Medishield when most of the time it does not cover our healthcare needs ! The minimum sum is $36K. With medical cost so high, this could easily be wiped out with just one spell of serious health treatment. The situation is worst for those with aged parents to care for. Their parents' healthcare cost would likely emptied their medisave account.

5) Medishield - even opting for the 'lowest' payment plan, the excess clause is so high that most of the time one is unable to make any claim for medishield. Besides they also need you to be hospitalised. Thus unless your bill hits the $1K mark, any claim is unlikely. For those not well off, a bill of $300 is expensive, yet there will be no relieve in sight.

6) Eldershield
- the criteria for payout is even more stringent as one must be unable to perform at least 3 of daily tasks (eg bathing, dressing..etc). Being not able to do one of normal daily task is bad enough and they want us to be total invalid before one can make a claim. Sigh.

7) Eldershield supplement plan
-they realise the payout in Eldershield is too little to they get us to pump in more money to 'enhance' the payout. Clear sign of lousy planning and implementation.

8) CPF Life - this is their ultimate weapon to retain our money forever. After so many different CPF accounts and insurance shields - we are not shielded at all. So they force us to buy compulsory annunity from them. You cannot choose the age you wish to buy nor insurance company you want to buy from. So we have to pay high premium because we only buy it at 55 and the payout is miserable because the rule are lay down by CPF.

We still feel insecure inspite of the list of CPF funds set up to meet retirement needs - it only shows CPF has fail us big time.

It was reported that the one major pension funds in Japan is in trouble. Will our CPF end up like Japan, losing its citizens savings ? Blind trust is dangerous. Japanese trust those in authority too much. So they do not see it coming. Same for S'poreans. Blind trust can be also very fatal.

Over & Unjustify spending on Defence

S'pore is ranked number 5 in national Defence spending in Asia. The other big spenders in arm imports are India, South Korea, China and Pakistan. We can understand about India, Pakistan and South Korea need to be armed to the teeth. As China is a huge country and an emerging super power so their defence need is there. Singapore ?

There have been cries on our unnecessary big defence budget. As usual it turns on deaf year of PAP.

Our Education System is NOT healthy

Heard over radio about some courses to teach parents Maths so that they can help their children prepare for PSLE. Revenue source for these creative tuition centers as they are expanding their target customers base.

So what are they teaching is school is not good enough to unable our students to prepare for their exam ? Even with tuition, parents still have to step in ? Wow - nowadays PSLE Maths is so difficult!

More 'unbelievable' news - parents are employing tutors to do their children's homework! Likely these children are so overburden with extra tuition and CCA that they can't cope. They need tutors to do their homework so that they have time to relax.

Should not the parents go to the source of their children woes ? Is it time management problem or they are overburden with too much extra tuition and CCAs? Homework is meant to help the students understand and revise their work. If they are not doing it, how can they improve ? If they are so good that they can do without homework, perhaps they do not need tuition in the first place.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blind Trust & Tipping Point

During the recent anniversary of Japan's nuclear disaster, CNA has their Japanese correspondent in the news studio. One of her comments was that the Japanese citizens trust their govt. When the govt told them the nuclear plant is safe - they take their words for it.

This is the same in S'pore. S'poreans trust our govt which equates to PAP. So much so that our govt can get away with non transparency in their handling of public fund in CPF, national reserve, town councils, Temasek and GIC. This is the same with the data or rather non-data available on important issues. Neither do they take responsibility or help accountable for those ministers who mess up in public policies implementaton.

Blind Trust is dangerous. Once the tipping point is reach, the decline slide come fast. Just like our once upon a time reliable MRT service. The tipping point has been reached and now we hear of serious major breakdown ever so often.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

How much $ is in CPF Board ?

Exactly how much of public saving is CPF Board overseeing ? We know it is alot but how much do they actually have vs 'on paper' only ? We know lots of money from CPF is diverted to govt investment and 'spending' in terms of loan to other govt departments.

CPF Board seems desperate for our money. They raise minimum sum every year, come up with more and more schemes to lock up our CPF, keep encouraging us to top up our A/C and that of our family members.

When you call them up to clarify issue - the first thing they advised you is to top up the a/c. You have to repeat your request before they let you know there are other option available.

Many speculate with good reasons that CPF keeps changing its policies in order to lock up our money is because they could not pay up if they adhere to their original plan to let us withdraw at 55. It is a known fact that the 2 major investment funds lost billions of public money during the financial meltdown and they are perpetually in demand of huge funds for their investment overseas which carry high risk.

So no matter how much money CPF Board oversees - it is never enough due to the huge appetite of our govt under PAP.

In the recent budget, in one breath, it was announce that health care will be affordable and they are increasing the premium for Medishield. How can healthcare be affordable if health insurance premium increase ? One of the reasons insurance premium increase is due to high medical cost. If we have more CPF money suck up into Medishield, less is available in our Medisave account to meet our healthcare cost. Since claiming medical cost from Medishield is an uphill task as the excess clause is so high, it is money going down the drain for most of us. One is likely to be very sick and hospitalise when one is able to claim from Medishield. In such situation, Medishield and even with our Medisave is unlikely to be sufficient to see us through.

This is the reality and seems like our govt is turning a blind eyes to it. They are more interested in getting us pump more of our money into CPF giving the excuse it is for our own good. Really ?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Uniquely Singapore

CPF = Central Ponzi Fund.

This is worst than ‘conventional’ ponzi scheme. As it is force contribution into CPF and CPF has the ‘legal’ power not to let us withdraw it.

MOM = Ministry of Morons.

They are in denial that their labour policies contributed to human trafficking. Foreign workers are cheated of by their agents (SG agents taking the bulk of the loot) and end up without work or working without pay. There are cases where females are tricked into prostitution upon arriving here.

MOH = Ministry of Hell

Our hospital wards are full,even with the latest new hospital (being build after more than 10 years even though our population has more the double and S'pore is being promoted as a medical hub to neighbouring countries). Patients who are 'lucky' to be admitted would find themselves sleeping along corridors which are used as temporary wards. Medical fee is so high. Those with chronic illness and need regular check up in polyclinics have to folk out admin fee for using their own medisave fund. Subsided medicine end up more expensive than when one get from private pharmacy. They jack up the medical cost involving everything (consultation, test and medication) and then give it a 'discount'. Then it is loudly proclaimed that medical cost is ‘subsidized’ by the govt.

PR = Protected Residents

They are foreign ‘talent’ and entitled special ‘protection’ which are part of the many benefits over local citizens. They contribute to our GDP growth which our PM and his cabinet of ministers' bonuses are tag to.

Lease Buy Back Scheme & other LIES

The govt has been frightening us that many S'poreans do not have enough for retirement. Thus they have to lock up our CPF, forcefully make us buy CPF Life ....etc. They are so desperate to 'help' us that they came out with schemes to unlock our money tied up in our HDB flat. After their reverse mortgage scheme failed, as it got our folks into more trouble instead - what with interest payment and losing their flat when the financial institution take possession of the flat when property price plunged, - now they replace it with lease buy back scheme.

Sigh - another ponzi scheme to divert more money into CPF. If a person sell his lease to HDB, the $100 to $200K will go back directly into CPF to buy CPF Life. They have the cheek to tell us that they are giving us $20K as 'incentive'. Out of this $20K, $5K goes into CPF again. So let say the lease is worth $100K, a person would expect to receive $120K with the govt 'incentive'. But the fact is he only gets $15K in cash and $105K is lock up forever in his CPF!

Besides, the 20K is NOT an incentive as HDB market valuation is normally $10K+ less than market price ! All these sound so much like a ponzi scheme, yet when it is implemented by the govt, it is perfectly legal.

Now if a person at 55 is in financial difficulty and CPF Life payment only starts only at 65, how is he suppose to survive for the next 10 years on the $15K cash after he sells his lease? How long will $15K last him even if he is in perfect health condition ? 1 to 2 years at most.

If our citizens do not have enough money for retirement, it is a clear reflection of the failure of various govt policies under PAP. We have worked and saved for our whole life, but never able to catch up with the soaring HDB price and high inflation rate. CPF interest rate has been below our inflation rate for the last 2 decades.

The soaring HDB price which formal Minister Mah BT insisted is 'affordable' based on his skewed statistic and interpretation, has gotten so much out of control that it is hard to reverse it without dire consequence.

Recently our Finance Minister said we can buy a HDB flat on $1K salary. He instantly became the laughing stock in internet discussion. There was a discussion in Money Mind over CNA on financial planning. The panel advised to one of the callers was not to get a flat with $1K salary. Could it be that person heard what Finance Minister said and was fool enough to belief him ?

Then they also encourage folks to downgrade to smaller flat. As usual the 20K 'incentive' is given as a carrot. The price difference between 3 to 4 rooms and 4 to 5 rooms is about 100K. What with the legal fee, admin fee, GST, renovation, moving much does one get at the end of the day ? Then there is also COV to content with. So one has to balance the COV careful when one sells and buys a flat in open market. If not one will end up getting into more financial difficulties for all the trouble trying to unlock cash from his property.

If one goes through HDB - there is a levy of 40k (for 4 rooms). This is more than the 20K 'incentive' that the govt offers !

Are these schemes really helping the needy ?

Social Conscience

Being silent is not an option in this age. There are folks who do not have any social conscience amongst us. They can be leaders of the country, producers of goods and even ordinary citizens.

If they don't live by their social conscience, then we need to apply social pressure on them by voicing disapproval. Just like the recent case where our national bowler ran over a mother dog - it is a hit and run, though he claimed later that he came back to help - bull shit. It is probably to get back his license plate which have fell off with the impact. He lied through his teeth and is exposed due to his inconsistent statements when interviewed.

There is adverse disapproval by many ordinary citizens and reported in the MSM. But the fact is there are many hit and run cases involving animals according to SPCA. They have never been given any attention until now. Thanks to this infamous bowler, now drivers will think twice about driving away after hitting an animal as they know they will incur the wrath of society.

If a person could hit a dog and not stop to check, likely he may do the same to a human. If one cares enough to render assistant even to an animal, likely he will do the same for a human.

We need to voice out - as it is a sense of justice and living by our conscience. Every little individual effort does matter in promoting a better society and environment.