I refer to the article “Some kidney patients refuse treatment and choose to die” (Straits Times, Feb 24).
Some patients choose to die?
It states that “But there are others who are forced to forgo dialysis because they cannot afford it, or because their families said no.
At the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), 24 patients suitable for dialysis declined the procedure in 2011.”
How many choose not to be treated?
If just one study on kidney patients alone found 24 who preferred not to receive – how many hundreds or even thousands of Singaporeans may have made or be struggling to make such decisions?
I was just talking to a person whose late father decided not to continue medical treatment for financial reasons – and then I read the above article.
Why do Singaporeans even have to think about preferring to die?
Over the last decade or so – in my volunteer work doing financial counselling – I have come across dozens of people and their families who had difficulties with paying their medical bills.
Whilst we have out perpetual debate about how affordable or unaffordable our healthcare system is – thousands of people may literally have died because of “money” – causing financial stress and perhaps a lifetime of regret and sad memories.
Tons of healthcare affordability issues?
I have written hundreds of articles and letters to the newspaper forum pages over the last 15 years or so.
Allow me to just cite some of my more recent articles (my 7 most recent ones) to give some indication as to the “affordability” issues in our healthcare system.
… “Part-time painter widowed with 3 children“, Feb 23
… “Pioneer generation package?“, Feb 12
Reflecting on what i have written over the last 15 years or so – it is indeed very sad.
Leong Sze Hian