Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Something truly amazing

The view from the dental surgery
With all the caveats i have about the medical establishment, and blah blah blah - i have to say that the Khoo Teck Puat hospital, in the heart of Yishun, was really a wonder of the world. I cannot imagine another hospital looking even better, unless it was maybe an anthroposophical hospital in the middle of a rainforest.

There were three tower blocks and the place was airy and clean. There was a lot of greenery, a WATERFALL, a really nice cafe and there was small group of volunteers selling produce they have grown in their urban garden on the seventh floor. Really, i thought, ok, i don't think the Big Pharma thing rocks my boat, and many of these treatments i do not agree with, but it was completely astonishing this place.

I don't know how old the place is, but the plants there seem
very mature
Whoever was the hospital administrator understood, or understands, that the environment is really important was well. The lifts were covered in photographs of local plants that grew on the grounds. This i find very interesting since plants are the original source of medication. Plants have a life force which helps heal our own life force - and i also think that just the pictures of plants can also trigger a feeling of well being in people. The detail extended to the roof of the lifts which also have pictures of the rain tree's branches - so that it looked like you were standing under a raintree. You know i sometimes think that it is weird that we have come thus far and with all this tech we somehow have this instinct about what is good for us, what really heals us - nature.

Water features
This photo does not do this justice, but there is a little stream and a waterfall - and really it looks like Shangrila when you first come into the foyer the landscaping. You hear running water and see lots of plants. I will need to tell you what the best part is later...

On the sixth floor... a man cleans the windows
The maintenance of the place is really important - and it looks super clean. What was really nice as well as how lovely everyone was. From the receptionists to the dentist who saw my dad. The dentist was really good. Explained everything that was going to happen to my dad - the root canal procedure. In fact he explained it so well, that several times through the procedure i thought, if i was my dad i would have said, er no thanks.

This was the best part
Every Monday, a group of volunteers sells veg which they have grown on the roof garden of the hospital. There is lost of pak choi and kai lan, and this man was selling this plant called oyster sling. It is to be boiled in water with rock sugar and an apple and pear, as well as some ginger. It gives a beautiful pink colour and looks like pink lemonade. It tastes like HEAVEN! Very cooling and good for all kinds of things. I bought a bag for $1!!!!!

The people who do this are senior citizens

The bridge that joins one tower to another
I wish i could just turn the brain off and enjoy this. You know, the wonders of Singapore without asking too many questions.

There are over 100 fishes which are supposed to found in the ponds and streams
I have not put this to the test, but i did stand there are marvel at this poster. Were there REALLY 100 species of fish??!!!

AND the photo credits include a Nick Baker?!?!

My mom waiting to go into the lift lobby

Later during the day she was sick too!
So, if Carlsberg did hospitals.... it would be the Khoo Teck Puat.

OK, but the best part... the best part is that the government is trying to get into people's good books cos of the impending elections... so here it goes:

My dad was referred for a root canal by the polyclinic - which is the government's clinic. Because he was referred, the cost of the entire procedure, which was $1,200, was discounted by 50%. Given that he is from the pioneer generation - the first generation of Singaporean nation builders, there was a further 40% and the payment was done in two installments, so in the end he only paid $120 for the surgery that day. So, he got a root canal operation of $120. This is of course not as good as someone who gets it free on the NHS - but i suppose there is a trade off between a waiting time of like forever and facilities which look like that stepped out of the future.

So the impending elections. My take on this is... the opposition should not bother. Just let them get on with it, and at some stage in the not too near future there will be a split in the PAP. It is only a matter of time. In the meantime, i think that alternative communities should try and create a space which enable a more resilient structure to emerge, based on grassroots activity. Like the seniors who are growing veg on the roof spaces. Like so many friends i know who are still fighting the good fight. I think politics is a beaten docket because the media is so ignorant and uncritical (my mother has just said that the newspaper is all rubbish...it has nothing to do with us.) And by and large people are just sucked in by the illusion. It is just not possible that the PAP will hold together. It would be really surprised if within a decade it hasn't split.

In the meantime, effort and energy would be better invested in doing real things. Like building the Khoo Teck Puat hospital and providing kick ass health care to the people at a very small cost.

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