Category: Health

More precious than gold!

Healthcare Costs is Rising in Singapore Faster Than GDP Growth: How Will This Affect You?

Last month, the PM sounded an alarm that is not entirely unexpected – that as Singapore ages, healthcare cost is bound to increase and hit levels of spending that will continue to break historical records. The Singapore government’s healthcare expenditure has skyrocketed from $3.9 billion in 2011 to an estimated $10.2 billion in 2018 — this means that in 2019, Singapore’s healthcare expenditure would be triple the amount spent in 2011! The PM made it loud and clear that this is not sustainable and Singapore needs to look for new ways to manage and fund the rising healthcare costs – which is only going to get worse at an even faster rate by 2030, where 1-in-4 will be over 65!

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For Government Hospitals, How You Are Referred Will Determine How Much You Pay!

For Singaporeans or PRs using the public healthcare system in the Restructured Hospitals, how you are classified in the system – private or subsidised patient – will result in a big difference in your out-of-pocket costs. If you are admitted to a public healthcare system like Khoo Teck Puat Hospital how you are referred during your first consultation matters — and will determine your classification until you are discharged. Remember, once it is in the system, it is normally not possible to change! The classification is not related to any “means testing” or whether you are rich or poor, but how you enter the system. Here is what you must do to be classified in the system as subsidised patient.

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Why Do I Pay More for Brand Name Drugs in Singapore?

Yes, that is true – Singaporeans, in many cases, do have to pay more for their brand name vs generics drugs compared to other countries in the region, like Malaysia. The savings could range from 30% to even 50%. To be clear, these are not fakes or generics but the exact same drugs marketed by the same global pharmaceutical companies. If you are taking such drugs for chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, the savings over a year can be quite substantial. So why are Singaporean “punished” with higher drug prices? Here are some of the possible reasons.

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In 2021, Seniors should upgrade Eldershield to Careshield Life – here is why.

There are three legs of healthcare insurance that seniors should pay attention to. The first is acute care insurance – Medishield Life – that helps you with serious condition and treatment that normally require hospitalisation. Medisave and other government subsidies are intended to cover primary care that includes anything from cough and cold to management of chronic conditions like diabetes. The third leg is long term care for when you are severely disabled and need long term help for day-to-day living — this is where the current Eldershield 400 and the yet to be launched Careshield Life will be something you want to have.

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Merdeka Generation Package: S$8 Billion well spent to help seniors born in the 50’s

Like the Pioneer Generation Package, I believe the Merdeka Generation Pack(MGP) is money well spent. When the Merdeka Generation citizens were in their working years, wages and salaries were significantly lower then. Education and other opportunities were considerably less than what our current generation has. For them, there was little opportunity to save enough for retirement especially with healthcare costs increasing at an alarming rate. Add this to greater longevity, it is clear that the Merdeka Generation’s savings for their retirement will fall short of what is needed.

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In Older Women, Risk of Breast Cancer increases with Age

Based on American statistics, the risk of breast cancer in one’s lifetime is 1-in-8, making cancer the #2 leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer. If you are a women at 40, the risk is 1-in-68, but as women grows older, the risk increases to 1-in-28 at 60 and 1-in-26 at 70. According to Harvard Medical School, “Half of newly diagnosed women are over 60, and more than a fifth are over 70”.  The good news is that death rates from female breast cancer has declined by about 40% from 1989 to 2007 due to better screening and medical advancement. Here is what older women should know about breast cancer.

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Seniors: When should I give up my Drivers License?

For seniors who have been driving since getting their driver’s license in their twenties, giving up driving is not going to be easy. Most seniors equate driving to independence and mobility – and taking that away from them can be crushing. But we all know that as we grow older, the day will come when we have to give up our car keys. So, when should seniors stop driving? Well, the answer is not that simple.

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What’s the difference between General and Community Hospital in Singapore?

Being admitted to a hospital can be quite unsettling and confusing. That’s why it is important for seniors to understand the difference between general hospitals like Singapore General Hospital(SGH) or National University Hospital(NUH) versus a class of hospitals referred to as community hospitals – such as Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital or Jurong Community Hospital.

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Buying Health Products: Be Very Skeptical

Preying on the old, sick and dying with promise of hope is sickening but it happens at all levels. I have seen so-called good Samaritans trying to hawk purported drugs or tablets that they claim can cure or treat cancer. For example, if you go online, you will find many products that makes wild claims complete with convincing testimonials. There are also pyramid marketing schemes that put on road shows parading to would-be sales agents “personal success stories”. If you think that scammers are the only ones doing this, think again. Seemingly legitimate companies are also cashing in on the game. Seniors who are not well versed in the deceptive nature of the internet are the best customers for these less than scrupulous sellers. Here is what you should do.

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Growing Old and “The Big C” (Cancer) … What Should I Do?

One of the most feared diagnosis is “the Big C” – or cancer – for most seniors. We often hear of friends and relatives doing battle with this dreadful disease and it has a lot to do with ageing. Based on UK statistics, 36% of all cancers are diagnosed in people over 75 or older and 53% of all cancers are diagnosed in people between 50 and 74. Noting that cancer can strike at any age, it is a statistical fact that the incidence of cancer is highly correlated with ageing. For men, the top three cancers are prostate, lung and colorectal. For women, they are breast, lung and colorectal — with breast cancer being the most common by far at 30%. Age is a major risk factor but in reality, there is not much we can do about ageing (unless science discovers the proverbial “fountain of youth”).

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