Friday, January 23, 2015
Our dishonest doctors
Friends have been complaining about how expensive it is to visit the doctor. Attendance at Polyclinics have sky rocketed.
Wifey's O&G doc always asked if we are claiming insurance, i.e., the charges would be higher.
A couple of days ago, both girls had to see the doctor. In the morning elder girl was charged $66 and in the evening her sister went for a minor eye problem and had to pay $31 for consultation and a small bottle of antibiotic eye drop.
Have they liberalized medical charges? Unlike my visit to the dentist a couple of months back I don't see a schedule of common treatments and their charges any more.
Dental treatment here is very expensive too. Some friends have decided to hop over to Johor to for the more pricey procedures.
I digress, but the common thread here is that medical cost is going up and in a pooled system like insurance and government reimbursement, it is likely to go up faster and further because for every dishonest doctor you catch you don't know how many got away laughing to the bank. You always guard your own little pot of scarce money far more closely than those paid to watch and pay from a very large pool. Whatever, doctors reputation among us can only head south.
Why wouldn't our doctors be less money minded than their American counterparts or anywhere else in the world? It is a matter of money making opportunities. In China many kids do not want to be doctors for exactly the opposite reasons American or our kids desire to be.
In a society where money acquisition is so highly valued, an SAF where too many learned that you can do anything you want as long as you aren't caught, we must not be surprised if corruption is creeping back. And I haven't talk about imported corrupt habits.
Many years ago my boss and I were invited by one of the richest man in HK for lunch. I do not know why, but he spent half the time with us explaining why there is plenty of moral corruption in Singapore. I said you can't charge somebody with that but eventually that corruption will grow and we will be arresting it very late as a culture of corruptibility would have permeated the system. I think we are closer to that now. Like suicide rates, we only count those that died but how many doctors in the privacy of their mind are thinking how to get more money from the government and insurance companies than is owed to them? How many in the civil service and in corporations? Some were afraid of collecting money so that had sex instead. If we don't work harder at this they will become bolder and have both.
We must not forget we are not like New Zealand a society which values honesty more than we do. We checked corruption with harsh punishments. It doesn't come naturally to us. For the same result we have to work much harder than Denmark, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand. But I think the situation in NZ is worsening. Why this is happening there is the subject of another post if I have the time.
Posted by PengYou at 6:41 AM