Thursday, 6 July 2017

Cancer Treatment Case In Singapore

- Healthcare or Nightmare?
- by Fina Leong (FB post, 4th July 2017, 6:46pm)

Ten doctors, 58 days in the ICU, 1 gigantic bill, Mum's life lost.

Never in my life would I have ever imagined I'd see a S$1 million medical bill.
$350,000 in medications… Over a thousand doses of drugs.. Complications one after another..
One thing for sure is this... If I had known that 18 May would be the last day of her life, I would rather spend $350,000 on bringing mum the greatest joyful, loving, happiest and most comforting experiences, rather than have her go through 58 extremely painful suffering days immobile in a cold and sterile hospital room.

Looking back, it is all a lack of the right knowledge that cost my mum's life. The painful unknown is... I will never know whether we did the right thing to send mum in through these doors. There are many health alternatives that can help reverse cancer. However, what is the DOSE and FREQUENCY required to achieve that outcome? Unfortunately it is mostly trial and error, and in mum’s instance, she was unable to consume the dose required to reverse her condition.

Because of this, we were selectively close-minded to recommendations. There were many doctors, alternatives and nutritional supplements that family & friends recommended. We explored some and missed many. However, if we stayed 100% open and explored ALL alternatives, one of them may have been able to save mum. A very costly regret…

We didn't realise how urgent cancer was. For someone with a generally healthy diet with natural foods and active lifestyle, if cancer strikes, find out if “targeted chemotherapy” is available. We learnt that chemotherapy is very helpful and effective for certain types of cancers. For aggressive treatment as chemo, it needs to be administered as soon as possible while the body still has health reserves and is able to bounce back.

We also made the mistake of thinking “all hospitals are the same". We experienced a huge difference in SPEED and EXPERTISE between public healthcare and private specialists. For a woman over 50's and post-menopause, if there is unusual swelling in the abdomen, a detailed scan to check for tumour is required immediately. When mum was first admitted in January, the doctors took 2 long weeks to discover the tumour. Something that the right scan would instantly reveal. I still believe our public healthcare is one of the best in the world, however there are simply too many patients needing the attention of overworked doctors...

Unfortunately, I feel that the healthcare ecosystem is such that specialists and private facilities are gravely expensive, and billing is structured in a way to max-out insurance payout in a cold and professionally institutionalised way. My heart felt cold when I saw that on mum’s $1 million bill, she was referred to as “Customer” and not “Patient”..

It is truly regretful that we were ignorant about mum’s insurance coverage. Had we known that mum's insurance covered private specialist treatments, we could've sought private specialist expertise from Day 1. Even though these final 58 days in a private hospital came up to an insane bill, we appreciated the speed of response and level of professional expertise of the team of specialists. At the end of the day… there are a ton of what-ifs and grey areas. What is right? What is wrong? One thing for sure is this.. Nothing can be done now to reverse the situation. Nothing can turn back time. And our hearts will miss mum forever...

More than ever now, I deeply feel that “If you do not invest time, money and energy in your health, you will spend your fortune on sickness”.
Ignorance is gravely costly. The right knowledge saves lives and protects families.
I hope this post has helped someone out there.
May we live with vigour, and die without suffering.
Rest in peace my beloved mummy...

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