Thursday, July 05, 2007

Having less than perfect children in Singapore....

There is no insurance covering newborns diagnosed with congenital medical problems in Singapore (... closest one is from Great Eastern that pays only IF the problem is discovered 2 years after the child is born). 1% of babies are born with heart defects, 1% are born premature, other diseases such as blood disorder Thalassaemia Major, spinal bifida, autism, celebral palsy etc. About 3% of children are born with serious major congenital malformation. The cost of treating newborns with such defects can be quite expensive for Thalassaemia, for example, a bone marrow transplant costs $100K. Heart problems can cost between $20K for a hole in the heart and $100-$200K for more serious defects. Not only that, parents sometimes have to cope with the cost of lifelong care..... theraphy, medication, followup treatment. In many cases, one parent quits the job to take care of the child.

About 1.5% of the population are millionaires. I guess for that 1.5%, it shouldn't be a problem. What about middleclass and poor families? What are the costs like say when you have an autistic child?

Here's a letter from the Straits Times Forum below read it - it is just a sample of the challenges faced by parents of such children.

The PAP govt is not looking at helping such parents but is actually reducing subsidy for treatment that is free in almost all developed countries. I see we are going to top 1st world status in a different way - reducing help for children with chronic illnesses!

I guess Singapore simply cannot afford it. Our spending on healthcare is $2B and we need to continue to invest in other countries such as Shin Corp in Thailand which cost tax payers $5B. We need to spend $10.7B on defense, twice as much as all our nearest neighbors.

The govt of Singapore encourages everyone to have more children - perfect children not one that will cost the state money because they can import healthy people from other countries so why should Singapore Inc bear the cost of less than perfect workers.

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July 4, 2007 Straits Times Forum

Help middle-income families with autistic kids

I AM the mother of a young child diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. My husband and I have had to put up with the incredible cost of seeking early intervention for our child. The cost of treatment and care is about $2,700 per month.

The early-intervention programme at a government-sponsored centre last year was quite affordable at $240 per month. We were shocked when fees were revised in January and we had to pay about four times more. We were told that subsidies from the Government had been reduced for middle-income families and that they would be reduced further over the next few years until they are non-existent in 2010.

I am asking for concrete help for middle-income families like mine to cope with the huge expense of providing our children with early intervention. In places like Australia, the US, UK and Hong Kong, the state bears most or all of the expenses. Why is Singapore so far behind?

Ng Suu-piing (Mdm)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

how can singapore be soft like these countries? how to be first class? how to be world class? i love singapore.

Anonymous said...

my guess is that the papayas have cleverly calculated that should they beget autistic children, they would find such programmes completely affordable.

hence better to divert funds to where they would benefit more: creating redundant high paying posts at temasick etc

Anonymous said...

I remember reading that our system is so people oriented that policies were changed to accomodate the needs of austistic children..oops I guess that's for the elite austistic children of elite...

Anonymous said...

this is battery-island. only batteries in good working condition are useful to the matrix. if you are a battery with problems, well, that is really your problem.

Capt_Canuck said...

You think the country is rich because of high income? to become rich you have to only sink money into resourses that give high profit back. Where is the profit in helping the diseased and weak?

That is why North Americans (Canada and USA) will forever be inferior to Singaporeans. The gov't actually gives money to help these children. If only we could lose our hearts as easily as Singapore, maybe we could have billions in our banks instead of a massive country debt.

Anonymous said...

eugenic at work in spore!

Anonymous said...

When Armageddon comes everyone will be equal. Nothing is going to matter. Man proposes, God Disposes.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans voted for the likes of Khaw Boon Wan and have no right to complain.

Noname

asddad said...

I am the father of an autistic child. I currently live and work in the US. News like this only reinforces my belief that I am doing the right thing for my child by not moving back to Singapore. For parents of autistic kids who would like to know more about the welfare system for disabled individuals in the US, let me know.

Anonymous said...

"We were shocked when fees were revised in January and we had to pay about four times more."

Maybe they just dont care? And even if they care, it hardly makes any difference, because it all adds up to, they dont care.

Either way you cut it with pen and paper it is lose / lose.

I am so sorry to hear this.

Anonymous said...

We are not a welfare society. There is no free lunch.
Remember our pledge.

"We the citizens of Singapore,
pledge ourselves as one united people. Regardless of race language or religion, so as to acheive happiness prosperity and progress for our nation."

Notice that it does not include persons of disability be it physical or intellectual.

If you are unable to acheive happiness, prosperity and progress for the nation, you are deemed USELESS. Afterall, we worship meritocracy don't we ?

The perfect nation of ours cannot afford laggards. Life is not about fairness otherwise we'll all be son's of LKY

Anonymous said...

I will never want to be even remotely related to LKY

Anonymous said...

cant afford to have the govt help all the time...if you look at our policies, u can see that singaporeans are pampered...so tt's why all we do is whine and whine.....

d govt pratically cradle us all the way..so much so we dont actually feel pampered...our govt is like a strict parent..we help wen u help ypurselfes not like other countries...giving free money and housing...our govt wants us to work for our benefit so we feel d pressure...

i love singapore but of course there are flaws..do you expect d govt to cover every health issue?

and ya live in USA and get kids massacring their peers..just bcus they cover autisim i dont tink tt is concrete enuf than my child's safety....i rather fork out the money than having to identify bullet ridden body...

Anonymous said...

u tink wad d govt ur atm? they cant afford to cover for everything so sumthing just have to be left out....

be thankful tt we have cpf, medisave and so many other insurance the govt create for us...

sumthings u have to settle your own....no choice..not happy go sumwhere else