On Wednesday’s (Nov 10) The Daily Show, Ronny Chieng, the Malaysian-born, US-based correspondent, came out to comment on the Singapore government’s decision to make COVID-19 patients pay for their own medical expenses.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (Nov 8) announced that starting from Dec 8, all COVID-19 patients who are unvaccinated "by choice" will have to pay their own medical bills if they are admitted to hospitals or COVID-19 treatment facilities.
In a statement, MOH said, “Currently, unvaccinated persons make up a sizeable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources.
MOH also said the government has been footing the full COVID-19 medical bills of all Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders since the pandemic began.
This doesn’t include those residents who tested positive after returning from overseas travel.
MOH also said the government has been footing the full COVID-19 medical bills of all Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders since the pandemic began. This doesn’t include those residents who tested positive after returning from overseas travel.
“Singapore isn’t messing around,” quipped host Trevor Noah. “In America, if you say, you don’t want the vaccine, the government is like, ‘Please, please take the vaccine! Please, we’ll give you money!’
“Singapore is like, ‘Okay, okay, it’s gonna be like that? Oh, well, you best bring your checkbook to the hospital then, because those ventilators are by the hour, b****!’”
While Trevor thought the new rule was fair (“Why shouldn’t you have to pay for your preventable health problems?”), he was concerned that it might have some unintended consequences.
“Because using that logic, should alcoholics pay for their own transplant? Should overweight people pay for their own heart medication?” he pondered. “Where do you draw the line? Hmmm, it’s a sticky situation.”
Ronny then jumped in, “Yeah, but in Singapore… Trevor, I don’t think people realise, Singapore is saying that if you don’t take the COVID vaccine, you have to pay for your COVID treatment, which is a huge deal in Singapore.
“Because Singapore essentially has universal healthcare, so for they do come out and say, ‘You are going to pay for your own stuff if you take don’t take the COVID vaccine, we are going to treat you like an American.”
“That’s a punishment in Singapore?” Trevor asked.
“In Singapore, being treated like an American in the healthcare system is the biggest punishment you could give someone,” the Crazy Rich Asians actor said. Ouch!
Watch the segment here (cue to 3:36):
The Daily Show airs Paramount Network (Singtel TV Ch 412), Mon, Wed-Fri, 10.50pm, Tues, 11pm. You can catch Ronny in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings launching on Disney+ on Nov 12.