SENIOR CITIZENS RATHER DIE THAN INCUR HUGE MEDICAL BILLS IN SINGAPORE?

The average hospital Class C inpatient bill size (at 95th percentile) has increased by an average of 36% in 3 years. (Sources: http://bit.ly/1RH2f8L & http://bit.ly/1OfxPV3)

For those of you unfamiliar with the data given, which is average and 95 percentile bill figures, you should read what blogger Lucky Tan had to say on the topic in the year 2011 (http://bit.ly/1IbVjvV).

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"When you read the table you have to be very careful not to misinterpret the data given which is average and 95 percentile bill figures. For those not familiar with what goes on in a hospital they might think that the figures still look okay because they are under $10k for 95 percentile. A typical hospital handles numerous small cases e.g day surgeries, short stay for a few tests, hospitalization for observation (chest tightness, shortness of breath, pain etc). These small cases overrun the statistics and the very big bills are concentrated on a small number of cases when a person has a serious illness so what they should publish is the average of the top 5% of the bills or average of, say, the top 1% of the bills. Showing the 95 percentile is misleading because it misses the very big serious cases - the type that we are afraid would hit us once in our lifetime. Deficient as it is, the numbers are useful in showing that cost has escalated sharply in the past 4 years."

The Medisave Minimum Sum was $34,500 in 2010. In 2013 it was raised to $40,500, and in the year 2016 Medisave will be replaced by the Basic Healthcare Sum scheme (BHS) where you will need to have $49,800 when you turn 65. The BHS will increase each year in response to your Medisave use. If you're unfamiliar with the new Scheme read this: http://bit.ly/1IbWprn.

The concern is, the rising cost of medical care in Singapore will force more and more mandatory savings upon citizens for their medical expenses, placing a further strain on their adequacy for retirement.

Rising medical expenses are a major concern for many Singaporeans. I have heard senior citizens say that they'd rather rely on quackery and die from their sickness at home than go to hospital and leave a huge debt for their families while dying.

We need better peace of mind, and for that the Ministry of Health has got to better address the rising medical costs in Singapore.

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