Interesting remark from an ex-Singaporean

Posted: December 24, 2009 by fievel in Labels: , ,

I was reading a blog post on "Diary of A Singaporean Mind" called "Humiliation of the poor", when I came across an interesting (though a bit lengthy) remark posted by an ex-Singaporean which I'll like to share here.

Testimony of an ex-Singaporean who has a special need child:

In Singapore, one can go bankrupt if there is a major illness in the family and need to be hospitalized.

As we ward our daughter,all hell broke loose. We did not have CPF medisafe bec. we were self-employed, then no insurance. I remember vividly standing at the registration counter of the SGH LIMITED.. since I did not have all the usual coverage, she asked for my credit card and got me to sign on the BLANK copy and told me they will charge me later. I was signing a "BLANK CHEQUE"! Can you imagine how heavy my heart was when I was walking back to admit my daughter!

Not long after we landed in Canada, we received a letter (I kept it till today so that I will show my great grandchildren later) from the University of Alberta Hospital. It gave us two full-days of schedule with all those professors and sepcialists...from heart, hearing, speech, ear name it we have it check on my 3 year old Singapore-born daughter. Again (like the same scene in the SGH) on the day of the medical check-ups I went over to the registration desk. After the white receptionist helped me to fill up all the forms, I sheepishly asked her: "How much must I pay for all these professors and specialists check-up on my daughter?" Listen, listen listen to the answer, ready?: "Sir it is FREE. It is under Alberta Health Care."
What!!? I could not believe her...I have not even paid my first Alberta Health Care premium (that time we need to pay about Can $100 per month for a family) and not a single cent of tax and yet we got FREE real professional check-ups for my daughter! I almost cried! The receptionist did not ask for my credit card. It was/is FREE!!!!!

Same daughter, same illness but in a different country and heaven and hell difference. Lucky we mmigrated to Canada. Lucky. Pure luck.

At kindergrader her class had only 7 special needs kids but they were taken care of by a full-time teacher, an assistant and watch over by a nurse and a specialist for special needs kid!

Fast forward. On reaching 18, she is given a monthly inflation-indexed allowance of Sin $1,500 (C$1+S$1.3), free medical and drugs, free dentistry and glasses (Sin $ 400 every 2 yrs). She can enroll for all kinds of studies and even dance, swim or social dance ... all paid for..yea FREE. Monthly bus is half price at Sin$45 per month ...unlimted bus and train travel.

If she is out of job, the social service will immediately find her a suitable job. Now she works 1 to 2 days a week in the Dollar Shop to do stuffing and packing...earning about sin$400 per tax and no crawl back as it too low an income. So total monthly allowance+income about Sin$2,000.

I always tell Singaporeans that it takes alot of courage to emigrate out of Singapore but it takes even more courage to live in Singapore!

Canada is not a perfect place but you know for sure that it is not Singapore where if you do not die in the hospital, you will die of shock by just looking at the hospital bill!

Open to the idea of emigrating out of Singapore. We are not taking about politics here, we are talking about happy laughter of our children and grandchildren playing in the snow. We are talking about focusing on how to have our children get well in the hospital without worrying over the hospital bills.

The name of the writer is kept confidential to protect the rights of the child. This is a true case as I know the writer personally.

By WingLeeCheong, at 24/12/09 07:54


  1. Anonymous says:

    Mr Fivel

    Your dear friend Mr Skeptic lives just south of the border and he prefers Singapore's "cheap & good" healthcare over Canada's so one of you is obviously wrong ...

    I pray you never have to find out.

    Merry X'Mas to you and ur family.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Who in Singapore is denied of treatment just becos he is poor?

    Who in Singapore is denied of education just becos he is poor?

    Everything free does not mean everything good.

    No backbone.

  1. LiuDaDong says:

    to Annonymous above... u put yourself in the person's shoes. Even the strongest backbone is going to break... emotionally and financially stressed out. It is ppl like you (annonymous) that are an "empty vessel". You are nothing but hollow and have no substance at all.
    you dare not even post your own name... gimme a break and just leave this poor man alone!