Singapore Election 2011

Latest news and updates about Singapore's 14th GE

Michelle Lee: Healthcare should be affordable to all Singaporeans

Posted by singaporege2011 on May 3, 2011

Speaking to a crowd of 30,000 people at Commonwealth during a SDP rally last night, SDP candidate for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Michelle Lee Juen rattled off statistics after statistics to demolish the PAP’s claims about Singapore having a ‘worldclass’ public healthcare system:

PAP candidate for Sembawang GRC Khaw Boon Wan had boasted unashamedly about the ‘affordability’ of public healthcare in Singapore during his stint as Health Minister by using himself as an example. According to a widely publicized report, Khaw had a heart surgery bypass operation done in a Singapore public hospital for only $8.

Michelle Lee quoted figures from the World Bank 2011 report which indicates that healthcare facilities in Singapore rank poorly compared to elsewhere.

Singapore has fewer hospital beds and doctors per capita than China, Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria and Cuba. As a percentage of total spending of healthcare, only the governments of these countries spent less than Singapore: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroon, Georgia, Guinea, Laos, Liberia, Myanmar, Sudan, Togo, Pakistan and Yemen.

“This is the kind of company we are keeping when it comes to public spending on healthcare. With such a dearth of spending, there is a shortage of facilities, treatment cost is high, and waiting time at polyclinics in Singapore is legendary,” she said.

She recounted that former PAP MP Wang Kai Yuen has proposed tapping on the reserves to subsidize healthcare for elderly Singaporeans, but as told off by PAP de facto leader Lee Kuan Yew that it is a “sentimental approach and a sure way to ruin Singapore”.

Michelle said the SDP proposes co-payment between the state and the healthcare user to share the cost equally and cost subsidy to be increased.

SDP candidate for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Mr Tan Jee Say has also outlined a hospital regeneration plan in his economic manifesto to increase the number of hospital beds to 8,500 and double the number of healthcare personnel.

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