I saw these remarks by Mr Low in Parliament "One certainly hopes that Singapore does not make history by going from Third World to First, and back to Third, within one generation.".
I have quite a few friends who work in the hospitals as doctors and nurses and I think it is quite unfair for Mr Low to label the daily battles they undergo as a sign that Singapore is regressing towards third world medical care.
It is somewhat disappointing that for someone who keeps emphasizing First World Parliament, Mr Low decided to make this callous remark without thinking how it demoralizes the good doctors, nurses and medical attendees who are working long hours to attend to patients who need medical assistance.
The quality of care by doctors and nurses is what defines a First World hospital – a hospital with lots of empty beds is not a good advertisement of care.
To them, beds or no beds, they are fighting every day to ensure that their patients get the best care possible even in the most trying situations. If it means setting up a tent to make sure their patients get the medical attention, they will rather do that than turn patients away.
This is not about first or third world , it's about basic human empathy and dedicated professionalism. No system is perfect, there will often by unanticipated emergencies; the key is how the human element reacts to these situations.
To me, the medical professionals have coped with this bed situation heroically and they certainly do not deserve such sarcasm in a First World Parliament.