Of a Tourist’s Views and Trade-offs

You might think going on a tour in your own city would be boring. It’s the same place, same people and the same words you’ve heard over and over again.

But what if… The green waters you’d always walked past without much note sparkled blue and silver in your eyes? What if the buildings you always wished to pass quickly in a (horrible) traffic jam formed a breathtaking skyline? What happens when you look at your own city with the eyes of a tourist?

I guess sometimes you tend to take what’s directly before you for granted – and it has struck me in the past few days that what you behold is really, what you choose to see. Spend too much time admiring the grass on the other side and you miss the gleam of dew on your own.

Side-story aside, the summit dialogue we attended yesterday was also quite intriguing – Financing Healthcare by Ms Tan Ching Yee. In her sharing, Ms Tan brought up the four aspects MOH strives to achieve in local healthcare: Affordability, Accessibility, Sustainability and Quality. Obviously, these aren’t mutually exclusive, and what Ms Tan brought to our attention was the fact that it is near impossible to achieve all four at the same time. Limited by finite resources, solutions lie not in striving towards ideals, but instead learning to make difficult trade-offs with priorities in mind.

Moving towards paying for healthcare, there are also three main frameworks countries have adopted: Rich for the Poor, Healthy for the Unhealthy and Young for the Old. Although these ideas may seem socialist and undesirable for some societies, it is a question of morals versus ideals: which should we prize more to create a utilitarian healthcare system in which the people who need help most are able to get it?

It has been thought-provoking listening to the vastly different perspectives, values and thought processes each delegate has. In this increasingly interconnected world, the importance of keeping these differences in mind is something we should not neglect.

To the Night Safari with hopes that mosquitoes won’t bite!

Ling Yun
Nanyang Girls’ High School

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