These few days, the flu virus seems to be rampant. I walked past several clinics and they were all crowded. It looks like many people are not well. With the super warm weather and sudden showers, the unpredictable weather has caused many to fall ill.
I was fine on Tues but on Wed, I started feeling slight discomfort when swallowing. By Thurs, I had developed a sore throat and slight fever. I took some medicine that was available at my place for fever and sore throat, hoping that my self medication will suffice. Unfortunately, the sore throat worsen and the fever came back on Sat. After an uncomfortable night tossing and turning, I had no choice but to go see a doctor on Sunday to get antibiotics.
When I was working, I have my civil service medical benefits that allowed me to claim $20 off every medical receipt. The $20 used to be enough to cover a substantial portion of the bill and I will pay the balance of a few bucks. But a few years ago, when several medical schemes like the CPF Life & CHAS kicked in, I noticed that my medical bills increased. I used to pay <$30 for seeing a doc for flu (including medicine), but the recent bills were >$40. I was surprised initially but when u are sick, you can’t really bargain with the doctor over the bills.
I put the bill increase down to medical inflation. Then, I was still employed and had a regular income so it didn’t hit me hard. Seeing the doctor this time was my first after being unemployed for almost 9 months (means I was rather healthy since stopping work). And I had no choice cos the sore throat was bad, I couldn’t speak at all, and the fever refused to subside despite my self medication.
The bill this time for consultation and antibiotics came up to $33. I didn’t get any lozenges, cough syrup or any other common flu medicine cos I already had some at home. At the cashier, the lady asked me if I had civil service card and I told her nope (with a slight tinge of sadness that I no longer had any medical benefits).
The sore throat was so bad that I can hardly swallow. I coughed and doubled up as pain racks through the throat too. I also have no appetite and suffers from body ache and blurred vision.
健康无价 (health is priceless). How true! No matter how much resources I have, without health, I can’t enjoy any of my wealth. I look at people enjoying their food or running around, and I envy their vigor and mobility. This week, I skipped a few games that I would normally go for but didn’t cos I am too sick. On the bright side, despite not exercising, I lost about 2kg cos I didn’t eat much.
Treasure our health! Guard it as it is your most precious. I had always enjoyed good health and took it for granted that I wouldn’t fall sick easily. This bout of flu totally floored me. I really didn’t expect to get so helpless so easily.
I have insurances for critical illness, private hospitalization, travel and personal accident. But none of such insurances cover the bills when I fall sick to flu. I had always been fit and healthy and amazingly, this flu just made me weak and dependent on others in the course of a few days. Fortunately, I think I am already over the worse of this flu bug. Maybe I will be able to get back to normal in a few more days.
I have been out of work for almost 9 months. In a few months time, I should be eligible for CHAS*. I am still undecided if I should apply for CHAS to enjoy subsidized medical services. I guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it in time.
*CHAS eligibility: Applicants must be Singapore Citizens and meet the following criteria:
• For households with income, the household monthly income per person must be $1,800 and below^.
• For households with no income, the Annual Value (AV) of home must be $21,000 and below^^.
^Household monthly income per person is the total gross household monthly income divided by total number of family members living together.
^^ AV is assessed by IRAS. An AV up to $21,000 covers all HDB flats and some lower-value private residences.