Read today's (21 April 2011) Mind Your Body page 18 entitled "Time difference" written by Dr. Ang Peng Tiam on how one of his patient's early stage lung cancer ended up becoming fourth stage. If it was an early stage, a surgery would do. But as fourth stage, the treatment would have to be either chemotherapy or 'do nothing and wait his time.' In hokkien, it is called 'ta-si'. Due to the advance stage, the lung cancer had spread to many parts of his bones. The reason for the progression from early stage to 4th stage was likely due to the delay in surgery because the patient had sought treatment in a public hospital with a long waiting queue. Mr. Yee, the patient, had a 3 1/2 years-old child indicating that he was very young only. Committing suicide is not an option due to being a father of such a young child.
In 2009, I know of one client who gave up waiting for her 'queue' at SGH although she was a 'A" class patient! I repeat, she was an "A" class patient! As 'A' class patient, she does not receive any subsidy from taxpayers. She was suffering from carcinoma-situ of the breast. She gave up waiting after more than 1 month. She sought treatment from a private hospital and got her surgery done within 1 week. If she had delayed, her carcinoma-situ would have become end stage too. Unfortunately, her insurance was meant for restructured hospital. As a result of seeking treatment at the private hospital, her insurance was subjected to pro-ration factor and thus she suffered a major financial lost. (Note: I was not the one who sold her the shield plan although she was obviously cheapo when she bought the "A" class shield plan from her agent despite her super duper high income.) All thanks to SGH. By the way, she has three children who are still schooling in primary school.
I wrote about three cases of real life individuals (but their identities removed) who suffered due to the long delay at the government hospital in April 2009 including this case. Clients can read it here: Commentary on poor hospital services.
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