Welcome news for Ma Jie

Welcome news for Ma Jie

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Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014

Andrea Ong

The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – Madam Wan Lau Fong came to Singapore from Guangdong province when she was just 21.

She worked for over 50 years as a ma jie – domestic helpers who stay single for life – and then as a cleaner in office buildings in Shenton Way.

With no family to support her, no MediShield, and little in the form of cash and Medisave funds, the 88-year-old had to rely on aid from medical social workers when she was hospitalised for osteoporosis two years ago and again last year for giddiness.

She therefore welcomed the news that pioneers like her will be placed on the new MediShield Life scheme to insure against large hospital bills, and of the Government’s intention to fully pay for the premiums of those aged 80 and above this year, for the rest of their lives. This will be done through annual Medisave top-ups and premium subsidies.

Madam Wan also stands to benefit from additional subsidies for pioneers at polyclinics and specialist outpatient clinics.

But she still hopes the package can be improved for the very old, with more subsidies for medication. This is because the annual Medisave top-up of $800 for pioneers aged 80 and above this year will not be enough to pay for her osteoporosis medication, which costs about $1,400 a year.

As doctors said she is too old to undergo surgery for her osteoporosis, she has to take the medicine for the rest of her life, and she has to apply for financial help regularly to pay for it. “I would be most happy if there could be more subsidies for medicine for chronic conditions. Then I won’t have to bother the social workers,” she said.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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