Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Changi Hospital - 'blur' admin and system

Changi Hospital (CGH) has 'blur' administration and system. I was sent for 12 medical tests (blood & urine) as the doctor was trying to find out the cause of my feet numbness.

I sent an email (15 Feb 13) request for a copy of the test results. They called me when it was ready and I went down to CGH to collect them on 22 Feb. To my disappointment, 4 reports were missing. I called the CGH medical report department and the officer did not even know that the data was not complete. I listed out the missing reports for her.

I went down to CGH a second time on 26 Feb to collect the 4 missing reports. This time, I checked the reports before leaving. To my annoyance, 3 of the reports have no test results on them. They only state the 3 reference sites to get records. (eg. SGH, NUH, CGH)

Hello, what sort of blur administration CGH has? First it is incomplete report, and now they give me 'blank' reports!  After I pointed out to them, I had to wait around an hour before they manage to retrieve 2 reports for me. For the last missing report, I was told it is 'sensitive' and they couldn't access it. They said they will get 'permission' to retrieve the report before sending it to me.

As I made advance notice request, they should have ample time to retrieve what ever sensitive report before asking me to go there, not once but TWICE to collect them.  Basically, they don't know what they are doing- just blur sotong.

This is not my 1st lousy experience with CGH. In Feb 2009 I went for day operation on my left thumb and they billed me for hospitalization bed and x-ray charges. I was not hospitalized nor was x-ray done on me.

I wrote in to point out the error to them and reminded them that I will be going for another operation which was on my right thumb in April 09, hoping that similar inconvenient would not happen again.

Alas ! The next bill had the same error ! When I asked for an explanation, they told me CGH system automatically bill for such items, unless the items were manually 'unchecked'.  Wow!  CGH could have over charged many of their patients then!  Most folks do not go through their bill in detail since it has a long list of items and looked daunting.

Hospital which is suppose to be efficient have 'blur' administration and system. Thus, we need to be pro-active and never be too trusting, as their mistake(s)  is/are at our expense.

Latest Update - looks like I have to make the 3rd trip to CGH to collect the last missing report. I called them up to check on the status and was told by that 'sensitive' report cannot be posted but has to be collected personally. What on earth is going on. CGH Medical Report Dept staff are not even familiar with their own policy and procedure. Sigh ....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Garment Alteration Making a Come Back

Garment alteration business is making a come back in a big way. There are 4 such setups near the HDB zone I am staying. All of them cluster close to each other within 2 minutes walking distance.  It reflects business is good.

Two weeks before Chinese New Year, I decided to alter 3 of my old blouses. I deposit each blouse with different garment alteration shop. All the 3 shops need 3 to 4 days to complete alternation as they were overloaded with garments.  My requested was simple - to alter long sleeve blouse to short sleeve which cost between $4 to 6.

Around the 9th day of the Chinese New Year (which last for 15 days), I decided to take another blouse for alternation.  To my surprise, their business was even better than before New Year. One of the shop 'rejected' me and told me to bring the blouse back 1 week later. Another shop accepted my blouse but I could collect it only after 9 days. 

All the shops are small setup but they all employed 2 to 3 workers on average. Rental is expensive even in HDB estate. So garment alteration business which at once stage 'disappear' from local scene must be getting popular again.

There is this social enterprise doing garment alternation business making a name for itself. The owner has open 3 outlets within a short span of 2 to 3 years.  The outlets are in high rental area such as Orchard Road and central Business districts.  Well, profit margin must have been very high for it to expand so quickly despite the high overhead cost. Likely the charges will be 3 to 5 times more than what I was charged for a simple alteration.

It is good to see social enterprise doing well as it means it can help more disadvantage folks. However, we know some are social enterprise in 'name' only. In such cases, it is unethical as the business is profiting by taking advantage of kind hearted folks who fork out expensive fee for their service thinking they are supporting a worthy cause.

Social Enterprise ?

There are 2 types of social enterprise locally - the Real and the Fake. Social enterprise like Dignity Kitchen is Real, as the founder is passionate of helping and training the disadvantage to be independent and able to make out on their own. Just look at the way it is manage and visit their operation.  He comes up with his own cash to support the business until it is sustainable. The business operation and finances are lean.

There is also Fake one which is a sucker for govt fund and thus public money. The founder is well off but yet asking for govt funding. She wants to use the label of 'social enterprise' to boost business image.

She claims to offer training to the disadvantage but in  fact less then 10% of her staff are 'unskilled'.  She only takes in skilled staff. Her staff are not disadvantage, but just housewives looking for a job to occupy time after their children have grown up.

She set up shops in business district where rental is expensive. Her business expands very fast within a few years as she is ranking up handsome profit.  Most clients don't mind paying high fee for their service because they thought they are doing a good deed patronising such social enterprise business. But in fact they are 'con' as the owner is profiteering from the 'social enterprise' label.

Talk is cheap, so don't be misled by what the owner says when she gives interview to glorify herself. Talk to her staff, look at her management and the way she operates.

So next time when you patronise any social enterprise shop, open your eyes and ponder if it is REAL or FAKE. It could be just a label which is NOT supported by actual deed of helping the disadvantage.

Medishield Premium Increases from 1 Mar 13

CPF Board has sent out unwelcome letters to inform us that they are going to deduct more money form our CPF account. The usual strategy use by the govt under PAP whenever they increase fee is to give us 'peanut' and ROB us of our 'walnuts'.

So my medishield premium is increased by $120, from $225 to $345. This is more than 53% at one go!!  They have the cheeked to tell us that the govt will provide a one time top-up to 'help' offset the premium increases so that we can 'enjoy' the 'enhanced' Medishield benefits. The top up is suppose to offset the premium for 2 years.

My top up is $200, which means the offset per year is $100. It is not even enough to cover my annual increase of $120.  The worst is I have to fork out so much more premium in the future !

Notice all the positive words they use - 'help', 'enjoy', 'enhance'.  Then CPF will use the highest figure, $400 of top up for illustration, basically to present 'brighter' picture. All craps !

What enhancement are we talking about when they increase the deductible by $500 !  It is the hefty deductible ($1500 for Class C and $2000 for Class B wards) that makes medishield a white elephant scheme to most of us. Personally I have underwent 4 day-surgery in hospital over the years and have not been able to claim medishield even once due to the high deductible. Now it is even higher !

In fact the medishield scheme is not design to help as the deductible for day surgery used to be even higher than hopitalisation.  Most of us will opt for day surgery if we can to save on hospitalisation cost.  But the scheme favours hospitalisation. The reason is obvious - to make more money from us even when we are sick. The worst is that it aggravates the demand for hospital bed, which is already short in supply, as govt neglected to boost up healthcare while busy importing immigrants to jack up S'pore economy.

For the elderly, medishield is killing them as the premium and deductible are sky high. At its current max - it is $1190.  The deductible for the elderly age 81 to 90 is $2000 for class C, $3000 for class B ward. For day surgery it is $3000 ! Our seniors are near the end of their lives and their savings will be at the lowest. They will be hardest hit should they not fall seriously sick or died. Their CPF will be suck dry and they still have to fork out hard cash for their healthcare needs.

The medishield scheme is not helpful at all as it is design for very serious and terminal cases. Basically for normal and aging healthcare needs - we are coming out cash. CPF is just using this scheme to profit as much as possible from all its members.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Roaring Support for Rally AGAINST Population White Paper

Inspite of the rain, there was a massive turn out at Hong Lim Park on Sat, 16 Feb. The crowd would have been much larger if the weather was fine. The ground at Hong Lim Park was a flower of colourful umbrellas which spilled onto the side road pavements outside the park. The overhead bridge at the main road was packed with people.  Even behind the tents, folks were standing there throughout the 3 hours rally, though they could only hear but could not see the action on stage.

It was a roaring support from S'poreans and our friends against the population white paper. The organiser reported a turn out of 5000 !  He had initially planned for 200. This shows that S'poreans are dead against the 6.9 million population by 2030 stated in the white paper. We have children to elderly seniors at the rally from all races.

Throughout the rally, there were shouts of  "Reject ! Reject !" against the population white paper. Boos were heard whenever names of unpopular minister were mention. There were 12 speakers each touching on different aspect of how the white paper will adversely affect us and our country. Some of the key points mentioned were :

1) Govt should channel funds into building up and strengthening our social system instead of using the money to build more infrastructure to support a larger population of immigrants.

2) Govt has turn our home and country into a hotel.

3) How can the govt claimed to be listening to us and wanting our feedback when the white paper was NOT even brought up for discussion during the National Conversation !

4) The white paper should have focus on narrowing income gap and improving fertility rate instead of the same old flaw strategy of importing immigrants.

5) Govt should stop using failed policies which do NOT work to boost fertility rate as the fundamental difficulties of child rearing have not been looked into. For example, govt has just implemented the 4th round of baby bonus incentive, which only shows that baby bonus is NOT working as fertility rate is still falling after all these years !

6)  Some express their sadness that they may have to grow old alone without their children by their side. This is because our next generation is likely to migrate to other countries as life in S'pore is so stressful, packed like sardines and not conducive to bring up kids.

There were many light moments. One speaker mentioned that it is not that S'poreans are not having enough kids, it is just that they are having lots of them overseas.  The likelihood of these S'poreans and their children abroad returning to S'pore is low.

Then there was a play with the word 'motion' which other meaning is 'shit'.  A speaker emphasized that the motion on the population white paper was passed in parliament and had the audience laughing.

The rally ended with a local artist leading us to sing our National Anthem. She got on stage with her 2 children.  She told us that her kids asked her : Why are there so many people here and they seem to be angry ? She told them : They are here for you all.

I think she summarized the rally significant - we were all there for our future generation. We care for S'pore and do NOT want to see it ruin by self serving, power crazy politicians governing our country.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

MRT on fire

Seems like there is no end in sight to our MRT transport woes. Train service was disrupted this morning as the cable caught fire at Newton station. The disruption affected the North-South line during the rush hours.

Now their excuse is the frequent rain recently has resulted in water seepage into the tunnel and affected the cables. Truth be told more likely to be another oversight and sub standard cable was used in the project.

They said water seepage is unavoidable. If that is the case, should not they use better quality cable ?  In fact they should stop so much digging underground since water seepage is a 'sure' thing according to them. 

We are tired of the perpetual digging, demolishing and construction work day in day out for years. One can hardly recognised places we are familiar with growing up and the skyline has changed so much.

Still want to build for 6.9 million population when the infrastructure is not even up to mark to support the current 5.3 million.  It is getting worst as now it is not just inefficiency, but safety is involved.

Say NO to 6.9 million !

To me even if the 6.9 million comprises of all S'porean - it is still a big NO.  We are not sardines to be canned by PAP. It is even more upsetting when PAP is still using the same old flaw policy of importing immigrants to pop up the economy and GDP.

For the 1st time, my whole family is joining me at Hong Lim Park this Sat, 16 Feb at 4pm to stand up for our rights to reject PAP 6.9 million target projection. I did not even ask them but found out my brother's family including his 12 years old son will be going too. Then my mum's god daughter in her 20s told me she will be there with her boy friend. My mum in her 80s is interested in going but not sure if I should let her as the crowd may be large.

S'poreans from all ages and walks of lives are truly upset now. There is a lot of pent up frustration after years of being force to swallow indigestible 'garbage' PAP's policies.  PAP in their ivory tower has lost touch with reality and will never understand ground sentiment and are blind to the mess they have created. They are no longer fit to govern us.

Austria for S'pore ?

Went for a talk recently and the speaker is from Austria. He showed us a picture of his home amongst mountain and lake and farm animals.  It it so scenic it looks like a postcard. Then he said he and his wife decided to come to stay in S'pore. 

What he has previous is what most of us dream of, but can never get - Swiss quality standard of living environment. I suppose the only inconvenient is your nearest neighbour is miles away. So he give all these up to be pack like sardines in S'pore, whereby your nearest neighbour is just a few steps away ? 

I suppose it is temporary arrangement to make it big as foreign talent before home sweet home again. If he and his wife take up citizenship - then it is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps the saying the grass is greener on the other side is the only explanation.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Suffering from PAP fatigue

We the citizens are suffering from PAP fatigue. What with their hypocrisy and antics - it is very tiring to hear PM and his heavy weigh ministers making lies after lies speeches after speeches trying to get us to buy into their  'projected' 6.9 million population in 2030.

1st - they delay the population white lies paper announcement which is supposed to be end of 2012, to run Pungol East by-election. Likely they would have suffered a great margin loss if the population target was announced before the by-election.

Then during their by-election campaign, they announced many policies adjustments which give the impression they are listening to the ground and getting serious about doing more damage control over their flaw policies. Now we realized that all these adjustments are in preparation for the population explosion ! How devious they are! Lucky Pungol East residents did not fall into their trap and voted for WP instead.

They are still playing catch-up to transport infrastructure and housing needs which they neglected over the years, while importing tons of people into S'pore.  Now, they want to over load the island again and repeat the vicious cycle !

Their initial  'target' now become 'projection'. Playing with words again !

PAP has always been very calculative over money and focus on profit ! So will they over build ? More likely they will overload to maximize profit instead. We have already seen it happening these years. Are they so self delude and naive to think we will believe them ?

Besides, don't they realize that their words don't gel ? How can they expect us to associate overpopulation with better quality of living ? Have they forgotten that they are the ones who said during the 'Stop at 2' campaign years back that overpopulation would affect quality of life ? After getting the country into trouble with fertility rate dropping over the years, now they do a complete U-turn !

Teo CH offers a pathetic rebuttal to citizens questioning who are they protecting by serving in the army. He said that we are defending our family.  Hello - we already know that. But if our guests stay in our house for years and when our house is under attack, we have to  protect both our family and the guests. This is an extra burden for us.  Then when our guests take off to another country when time is bad, inspite of them telling us they are part of our family in good time - it only add salt to the wound. This joker Teo CH just don't get it.

Basically, PAP has lost the trust of the public. Their words sound so hollow and empty.

Friday, February 1, 2013

6.9 million is already confirm !

Government Land Use Plan has announced that there will be 5200 hectors of land reclamation to cater to the 6.9 million population in 2030.

So we know that the so call discussion on the population white paper in the coming parliament sitting is another wayang show. PM and his PAP gang has already made up their mind on the matter.

PM has the cheek to declare that he is confident that S'pore will be the most liveable city in the world.  What a joke ! He is so out of touch with ground reality. As it is at 5.3 million, we are suffocating and facing not only traffic jam, but human jam everywhere.

Just to cross a side road from the MRT interchange to a mall - have to wait for the 2nd or 3rd pedestrian light signal change before being able to make it to the other side. Both sides of the road jammed with human bodies.  We are talking about HDB heartland and not even town area.

The same thing happened in Bugis - but that is a main road and in town area. It got so bad that it became a safety issue. Now it is happening in HDB heartlands.

What quality of living are we taking about when so much time is wasted in queuing just to get through daily routines....buy lunch, take a bus/train, cross the road....the list can go on and on !