Overheard from Mr Ho :
Medishield: A Model for Affordable Healthcare Nationwide
Upon reflecting on Singapore’s remarkable achievements, this Writer is reminded of the proverb: ‘Necessity is the Mother of all Inventions’.
Indeed NEED was, has been, and always will be what drives Singaporeans and their Leaders to leave no stone unturned in their urgent quest to ‘invent’ ways to overcome obstacles in order for them to survive, progress and prosper.
To illustrate the crucial point about NEED or Lack, Singaporeans need no reminding that their lack of a source of water-supply for domestic, commercial and industrial needs challenged their leaders in the Public and the Corporate Sectors, relentlessly to find a solution for the Nation’s need for water.
With dedication, perseverance, the never-say-die attitude, and their faith in Science and Technology, the leaders pushed relentlessly at the frontier of the latest Technology, and of Experimentation and Research. Their effort paid off and Singapore is now no longer totally dependent on external sources for its water-supply. Singaporeans now have their source of water-supply in NeWater. And in the near future, the Singapore Establishment is confident that the Nation may be ‘water’ self-sufficient.
Deprived of natural resources, the leaders of the ruling PAP realised, at the outset of the emergence of Singapore as an independent, sovereign state, that Singapore needs to invest in the education of its people. Singaporeans have to be empowered with the requisite knowledge and skills to overcome their initial disadvantages and then to be able to provide the very services and needs that people of other countries would have a need for them.
To fight off competition, Singapore’s leaders are also only too well aware that Singaporeans need to be superior to their competitors. For the Government and the Private Sector this entails providing the working population with intensive training and ongoing upscaling of knowledge, expertise and skills. This is what the leaders in both the Corporate Sector and the Establishment think Singapore would have to do to stay abreast, if not ahead, of the best in the tertiary sector of the First World economies.
Likewise in the area of providing for the needs and healthcare of the Senior Citizens, the leaders in the Establishment and the Private Sector as well as those at the Community level need to come together to help formulate a sustainable healthcare model for the well-being of both their current working population as well as for the disabled, the poor and needy and their retired Senior Citizens.
With the support of the People, the leaders of Singapore have overcome many seemingly insuperable problems in the past. And to their credit, the world has come to recognise Singapore for its remarkable achievements.
Given Singapore’s standing as an exceptional Nation, can Singapore not also strive to be recognised for how it is able to cater to the health-care needs of all its citizens, both working and non-working?
Such a health-care model may entail different segments of the working population having to bear with additional differentiated sacrifice in terms of costs.
However they may find the sacrifice they have to bear for the moment more palatable when they realise that upon their retirement, or should they become unemployable on account of their health or other valid reasons, they will also enjoy the same healthcare benefits as their predecessors before them.
Surely Singaporeans and their Leaders would look keenly toward having another feather that they could add to their cap. However more importantly,
Singaporeans must gradually realise that they cannot have a Nation when everyone places a priority on self-interest. They must be able to see themselves each as the sum-total of the component parts of a whole which sustains them as a body. That body is the Community of Singaporeans from different ethnic grounds and cultures and from all walks of life.
Singaporeans response toward the government-initiated Medishield Scheme would serve as a good yardstick to show how much more effort we have to put in before we arrive at Nationhood. Meanwhile we need to continue to educate our people, young and old alike, to understand and accept that just as the survival of the individual is indispensibly dependent on the overall well-being of the Community, the welfare of the Community must of necessity take priority over that of the constituent individual.
This axiom of the rights and interest of the individual subsuming under those of the Community is a non-negotiable prerequisite of Nationhood.
By Ho Cheow Seng
July 25, 2014
Official Link -> Medishield Life