Thursday, August 13, 2009

Running faster, working harder

"Running faster, working harder: repairing the care" is a 15 min video explaining health care underfunding in British Columbia, Canada. In the video, Dr Pollock mentioned education, employment, welfare, healthcare and housing are interdependent political solutions for the problems of ignorance, idleness, wants (poverty), disease and squalor.

Sadly, Singapore has gone further down the privatisation (profit-driven) road than Canada and UK. E.g. Free education (albeit with bond) for FTs but driving out Singaporeans, cheap foreign labour competing for jobs at all levels, no welfare, KPI-driven restructured hospitals, "market-subsidy" HDBs. For healthcare in Singapore, the "sustained under-investment" to orchestrate a "crisis" did happened. The show is now repeated to launch the Minister of Health's solution for elderly care.

It's so sad that the film above describes exactly how things are in Singapore. I have seen healthcare from the insides of both restructured and private hospitals. Patient care is compromised if one benchmarks against the standards set by our local nursing schools. A major contributing factor is that nurses in Singapore are overloaded. E.g. In acute medical/surgical wards, Singapore has a typical 1 RN : 12+ patients ratio, compared with the mandated maximum ratio of 1 RN : 4 patients in Australia.

Due to corporate policies, we cannot let our patients know the truth. Instead, it takes a concerned patient's kin to raise the issues. "Are Hospitals Safe?-What killed my dad?". It is a shame.

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