Good treatment for all at public hospitals

I have volunteered with various charitable organisations, and in the course of doing so, I have had the honour of working with the lower strata and underprivileged members of our society.

Based on my experience, I have the sense that no matter how poor a person is, in Singapore, he will receive adequate and good treatment from our government hospitals.

I recently visited the elderly mother of a former prisoner.

She lives in a very decent and comfortable rented flat in Marsiling Drive, paying rent of only $38 a month.

She told me that on her last visit to a government hospital for her gastric problem, not only was she not charged for the consultation, but also, when the doctor realised that her hearing was defective, he sent her to an ear, nose and throat doctor.

She was subsequently given a free hearing aid, which would have otherwise cost her about $2,500.

My son studied medicine at Oxford University in Britain.

He is now a medical officer at one of the government hospitals here.

He tells me that our hospitals in Singapore are much better equipped, have better systems, and serve and care for patients better than the hospitals he worked in when he was in Britain.

No system built by man can be perfect, and I am sure that our medical services can be further improved.

But the views of Professor Paul Tambyah are a bit lop-sided ("Doctor wants to fix healthcare system"; last Saturday).

I would like to know how Prof Tambyah finds our public health system, compared with those in other countries, including some developed ones.

To be a good and effective politician, one must be able to judge things and express one's views objectively.

Unless a person is objective, he will not be able to solve any problems.

Joseph Tan Peng Chin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'Good treatment for all at public hospitals'. Print Edition | Subscribe