Sunday, April 11, 2010

As they say… health is more important than wealth

A family member of mine recently underwent a fairly major operation to correct an issue in his spine. There was a little bit of drama and anxiety throughout the affair… the issue was so serious to the point that he was unable to walk at all and was in constant pain. Thankfully the procedure was successful and he’s alright now although he’ll need to take it easy for a while.

The whole episode got me thinking again on the whole fragility of life. This family member was young, active and robustly healthy. It was the last thing on everyone’s mind that something like this could happen to him. The cost of the procedure caused a small dent in the pocket, but it was the least concern in the matter of one’s health.

I wondered how many young people in Singapore/Malaysia were walking around completely oblivious to such a possibility. I know for a fact that it was the least of my concerns when I was living in Singapore. Sure we had life insurance, and the company generally has some kind of health cover for its employees. But I never even bothered to find out the extent of the cover. If I was struck down with a serious illness, I might be have been left completely exposed. It’s pretty scary now that I think back on it.

Here in Australia, I feel that the question of health cover is something we are sort of forced to contemplate because of government policies. We are compelled to review private health insurance cover options, simply for tax reasons, even if not for real health reasons.

At the moment I’m having to go through paperwork to change our private healthcare cover…

(This next part probably makes more sense for my Australian readers: We really like Medibank… their extras cover is fantasic and our out-of-pocket expense for things like dental and optical is almost nil. But their hospital cover component is now so drastically changed that its bordering on unreasonable. So we are planning to switch to HBF… although their extras cover sucks, we thought we should get a more balanced cover across both hospital and extras… if you have a better solution or tips around this, I would gladly welcome it!)

… BUT although I sometimes whine and complain about the cost of private health cover and the government basically almost coercing us into getting private health cover…

…an episode like what my family member went through does help put some perspective back and serves as a reminder to be thankful for even for this.

(However I still think the rising cost of private health premiums is still a pain!)


  1. For your infor, Sam also went through a colonscopy. We were surprised to see that his colon was so inflamed, with a hint of polyps. According to the doc, this left untreated over the years could lead to colon cancer. The cause of it all? Dirty hawker food - the bacteria was left to fester inside. So be carecul!

  2. you also forgot to mention apart from being young, active and robustly healthy. the said family member was also suave, good lookin', cool, fit... and many other awesome trades.


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