Chua Mui Hoong, Opinion Editor
Subsidised care: Is every doctor a good doctor?
Published on Jul 10, 2014 6:46 PM
FIRST, a mea culpa.
A year ago, I wrote about MediShield Life shortly after the Prime Minister promised Medi- Shield would be revamped to bring in people with pre-existing illness. At that time, I predicted bitter wrangling over who should foot the cost of bringing this ill group into the health insurance risk pool, saying such debates would be "fractious".
I wrote: "After decades of exhortations about personal responsibility and reward based on individual performance and effort, we probably need a booster shot of altruism and solidarity."
Eleven months on, details of MediShield Life (MSL) and premium increases to cover the very sick, and the very old, are now made public. The Government will pay three-quarters of the cost of bringing in those with pre-existing illness. This group will pay 30 per cent more in premiums for 10 years as their share of the cost. Everyone else co-shares a modest part of the costs.
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Today, the acceptance of universal health coverage in MSL has changed us as a society for the better.
How so? For one, MSL is based on solidarity. In the words of MP Sitoh Yih Pin, there's a spirit of "collective welfare", when everyone pays a bit to have universal coverage for all.