Shortly after the SDP pushed the idea of universal coverage of our healthcare system, the PAP government adopted the idea – or at least the rhetoric.
For instance, we said in 2012 that “healthcare reform must spring from and be underpinned by this fundamental principle of universal, affordable coverage.”
In 2015, under the Medishield Life scheme, the government said: “The extension of lifelong, universal coverage and better benefits for all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents.”
We also proposed the idea of an insurance system where “individual risks are pooled”.
Shortly thereafter, the PAP followed that “Everyone shares in the national risk pool and plays a part supporting pooled healthcare costs.”
Under such an insurance scheme, the SDP said that pre-existing illnesses should not be excluded, unlike the system under the PAP.
The government responded that MediShield Life would provide coverage for all, “including for those with pre-existing conditions”.
But while the PAP has adopted the SDP's ideas, it still puts the burden of healthcare costs firmly on the shoulders of Singaporeans while continuing to shirk it financial responsibilities.
Medishield Life under insures Singaporeans. Patients still have to fork out huge sums to pay their hospital bills despite the insurance coverage. This is evidenced by the hue sums that people have to maintain in their Medisave accounts.
Yet, the PAP continues to increase taxes to cover anticipated increases in healthcare spending.
This has to stop. There are alternatives to the current arrangement which is unsustainable and hugely burdensome on the people.
The SDP will launch its healthcare policy next Saturday and deliver proposals that will ensure that Singaporeans' healthcare system and its financing attain First World standards.
We believe that healthcare, like food and education, is a fundamental right of all Singaporeans and should be made affordable to all. The rich should not get better and quicker healthcare than the rest of the population.
So join us as we launch our healthcare policy:
Event: Launch of The SDP National Healthcare Plan 2019
Date: 11 May 2019, Saturday
Time: 2 pm
Venue: SDP Office: 3 Ang Mo Kio Street 62, #02-30, Link@AMK
Open to the public. All are welcome.