While national healthcare insurance schemes like MediShield Life have been in the spotlight in recent weeks in Singapore, one Singapore-born immigrant is rejoicing that he now receives free healthcare and does not pay premiums or out-of-pocket fees for medical procedures now that he has moved to Canada.
MediShield Life became a hot topic recently after it was revealed that the scheme paid out a measly $4.50 of 82-year-old Mr Seow Ban Yam’s post-subsidy medical bill of $4477 after he underwent a cataract operation on both eyes at the Singapore National Eye Centre.
The authorities reasoned that a $2,800 cap is imposed on the procedure Mr Seow underwent. This means that the maximum reimbursable amount for such a procedure each year is $2800 + plus actual ward fees of $205. This amounts to $3,005.
Of this $3,005, $3000 has to be taken from the patient’s own CPF funds. This leaves only $5 that is claimable by insurance. Thus, MediShield Life paid 90 per cent of that $5 – amounting to $4.50
Many Singaporeans expressed their sympathies for the senior citizen, who was left saddled with a bill of over $1,400 that he had to pay out of pocket. Several locals also asked the authorities to give them the freedom to use their CPF savings as they feel necessary instead of restricting them with caps and limits.
While Mr Seow’s experience with MediShield Life left a sour taste in the mouths of many Singaporeans, another Singapore-born man had a completely different experience with the national healthcare system of the country he migrated to.
Sharing a newspaper article covering Mr Seow’s plight, Facebook user Bernard Chan recalled his recent experience with the Canadian healthcare system, in which he did not have to pay a single cent for medical procedures.
Born in Singapore, Chan migrated to Canada in 1991. Now a Canadian citizen, Chan lives in Edmonton in the Alberta province of Canada.
Revealing that he has been suffering from a serious mouth infection for nearly 3 months, Chan recounted his positive, speedy and free experience with the Canadian Universal Health Plan:
“I did a complete medical check-up and my family doctor still could not find the cause of my infection.
“2nd Jan 2019 he sent me to the University of Alberta Hospital Emergency where they referred me to more than 5 specialists to examine me on Friday 4th Jan. On the same day, immediately I was given X-ray to make sure it is not cancerous.
“All this how much I need to pay in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada under our Universal Health Plan, which in Alberta we do NOT even need to pay for any premium? $0.”
Chan concluded: “I am so damn glad I immigrated from Singapore to Canada in 1991! I am a PROUD CANADIAN…….damn proud!!!!!!!!!!!!”