BERTHA HENSON: Sorry! I thought of trying out this new-fangled way of telling stories these days. In any case, my headline is probably far better than the two I read today in MSM regarding the use of Medifund.
TODAY: 30 % rise in Medifund applications approved
ST: Medifund disbursements rise 27 % to $130m last year
My first thought was, wow, a lot of money. So are more people getting sicker, medical bills getting heavier or what? The applications rose from 587,000 the previous year to 766,000 last year, ST said adding that it reflected the wider range of people getting help, such as children from poor families. Then came this line that inpatients get about $1,579 and outpatients get $103. Outpatients? Since when? I turned to TODAY and realised that Medifund was extended to polyclinics last June. And that there were 68,000 approved applications for polyclinic patients. My goodness! That’s a lot of people who cannot afford $100 in polyclinic fees! What did they do in the past about their medical bills? With Pioneer Generation Package and all, I sure hope the figure will come down.
Still on health, I did a double take when I saw the headline 9% of woman have HPV infections: Study. I read it at first as HIV! But what in heaven’s name is HPV and is it serious? A line below the headline said that although the body naturally clears the virus, some women risk getting cervical cancer. The report said half of this group of HPV-infected have the high risk strains that are associated with cervical cancer. I go on reading about the state of HPV in Europe and Africa and how cervical cancer is among top 10 cancers for women and how 200 women here are diagnosed with it every year and one woman dies of it every three days……..and I am getting more and more worried and then! I read one doctor saying don’t worry, the body flushes out the virus naturally and the chances of HPV leading to cervical cancer are less than 1 per cent!
Seems the message is, please get yourself screened for cervical cancer, ladies.
PS. HPV stands for human papillomavirus
Because I don’t like stuffing news in briefs….
- The case of the Starbucks seat-hog
I was wondering when MSM would latch on to this kerfuffle that went viral for a couple of days about a kid who was unhappy that her books were cleared away at a Starbucks outlet. Seems she stepped out for half an hour (I would have finished my coffee by then) and returned to find that her belongings were no longer “choping’’ the seat. And instead of feeling chastened, she proceeded to rant on Starbucks FB page or something. Well, the story is in ST today although subsumed in a general trend story which it believes nobody in Singapore appears to know – that students study in cafes. Predictable comments came from café managers and students – good place to study, hard to shoo them away, we’ll move if we told to…you know the variety.
I have been much too annoyed with such students for too long. May I propose that the café staff wear badges when they move through the premises.
Badges can say:
“Stop hogging the seat, you pig!’’ This is the angry badge
“Is that a person or a bag sitting on the chair?’’ or the sarcastic badge
“A cluttered table reflects an untidy mind’’, which is the more erudite sounding one
“Home is a cool place to study too’’, which champions family togetherness
“You’ll fail anyway’’.
- The ball is thrown back to Parliament again
I admire the tenacity of the people who went to court to challenge the constitutional position on gays. But I wonder if they realised that it would be a forgone conclusion. That section 377A criminalising homosexual sex is something for the legislature, the court reiterated. And the constitution never mentioned sex, gender or sexual orientation when it said it would give people equal protection under the law – just race, religion, place of birth and descent. As for the right to “liberty’’, it means the right to not be unlawfully jailed, rather than the right to privacy and personal autonomy. The court sounded almost chagrined when it threw out the challenge. Nothing this court can do, a judge said. The remedy “if at all’’, is in the legislative sphere. Hmm. Looks like Parliament is the last stop. Seems to me that someone should put forward a motion to debate this. OR continue the trend of putting up Private Members’ Bills (we’ve got one on sex trafficking and animal protection after all) to seek an amendment?
Thank you Bertha Henson for this insightful commentary.
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