The Brave Dialogues: Talking Control of Your Health – 30 June 2018

Our first health dialogue (The Brave Talks: Taking Control of Your Health) saw an interesting and in-depth discussion into various matters. Here are useful and insightful takeaways:

  • Why do people not go for screening
    • Downplay the importance of screening to self.
    • Unpleasant / humiliating past experience. This is especially felt by gender non-conforming and LBTQI persons where health practitioners are often ill-adequate in serving this clientele. (One participant shared that by asking “I am a gay person, are you able to serve me?” got her the service she sought.)
    • Perception that the screening will be an emotionally and physically anxious one.
    • Poverty – not aware of the importance of screening and lack of time to go for them.
  • Subsidy – One can get access to the nation’s subsidized medical system only through referral from the polyclinics.
  • Moving between wards – Should a patient seek to be upgraded from the current ward she is hospitalised in, the consultations, screenings and consumables incurred while in the lower class stay will be charged at the rates which are tagged to the higher class she is upgraded to.
  • Doctors do not access the Advanced Medical Directive depository. If the patient has one written, the doctors need to be told of the existence of it and be presented with it so that the patient can be cared for as per her wishes.
  • Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
    • If a person is single (not legally married in the eyes of the Singapore law eg. same-sex marriage, widowed or divorced), members of family of origin will be the go-to for doctors with regard to the direction of care and treatment for the patient. Should the patient wish to be cared for by a non-family member, having an LPA will address this. Should the situation be that of an accident and the patient is not conscious, the nominated person/s in the LPA needs to present herself/himself with a copy of the LPA to the doctor so that the wishes of the patient are executed.

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