Monday, April 29, 2013

The meaning of high Med School fees

So this doesn't concern most of us because very few parents have kids that would be going to medical school. We can't be more wrong! Quite simply, if med school fees are stratospheric, in a long winded but sure way, medical costs are out of control. The best way to explain this is a story I often get as email. It is a quick and short story of a rat complaining about a rat trap but others in the farm were nonchalant.

A rat looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package. What food might it contain? He was aghast to discover that it was a rat trap. Retreating to the farmyard the rat proclaimed the warning; "There is a rat trap in the house, a rat trap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Excuse me, Mr. Rat, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it." So.. the Chicken returned to clucking and scratching.

The rat turned to the pig and told him, "There is a rat trap in the house, a rat trap in the house!". "I am so very sorry Mr. Rat," sympathized the pig, "but there nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured that you are in my prayers."  And the Pig returned to the slop.

The rat turned to the cow. She said, "Like wow, Mr. Rat. A rat trap. I am in grave danger. Duh?" How will a rat trap affect me? And she returned to leisurely grazing on grass.

So the rat, head down and dejected,  returned to the house to face the farmer's rat trap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a rat trap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital.

She returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient, the CHICKEN. 
His wife's sickness continued so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them the farmer butchered the PIG.

The farmer's wife did not get well. She died, and so many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the COW slaughtered to provide meat for all of them to eat. So the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when there is a rat trap in the house, the whole farmyard is at risk. 

If we and also every other advanced economy fail to control the runaway cost of training a doctor, we will also risk bankrupting ourselves with healthcare costs. Dr. Philip Choo of TTSH and Dr. Tan Cheng Bock are right on the money with this one. The government is trying to ration health services but it is not working. The whole healthcare paradigm is off the mark.

1 comment:

  1. How would you like TummySick Holdings to invest its money?
    In scandal ridden foreign banks?
    In Singaporean medical students by providing them with an interest-free student loan?

    Which action will anchor the young talents to Singapore?
    Which investment is a high return, risk-free bet?

    What do you think?