Here is some feedbacks and ideas on SMEF funding for equipment.
I have lots of ideas in the past and many are still hidden in my mailboxes unused and unknown.This idea was first started and suggested by my good self on the 18th November 2014 to the .gov and some business partners. Since it is still just an idea till today, I am putting up in my Ideas page to share.
On the ground I have always been receiving calls when my patient pass on and family wants to donate all the equipment to my service. I have no space, no time and no workflow to manage these bulky items. A kind Medical Social Worker from one of the restructured hospital of the community care department sometimes might arrange these hospital furniture to another needy family. This is however sporadic and not very efficient.
I am now suggesting to have a policy to “buy back” these used hospital furniture and maintain them until the next family might want them. Some equipment providers have been in this business for more than 15 years and have experience servicing and selling 2nd hand hospital furniture and equipment.
Let’s suggest a fictitious company RECycMEd Pte Ltd. (I hope nobody has such a name at present!)
Relatives “sell” back the hospital furniture to RECycMEd. RECycMEd cleans, services and maintains them, and when needy patient wants even cheaper hospital furniture, they can use SMEF as well to buy these second hand furniture at an even lower pricing.
3 Crank Electric Low Hospital Bed $1680 from a vendor, brought by patient at $168 from SMEF funds living in a 3 room flat.
Unfortunately, patient pass on 2nd day getting the bed before he was even discharged from hospital and before the bed was actually used. Now, family wants to dispose the nearly new hospital bed, calls RECycMEd. RECycMEd comes in and “buys” the bed from them at perhaps $50or even free , helps the relative the remove the bed from the house to his warehousing area. Perhaps a new patient referred to any MSW needs the bed, but family is unable or refuses to pay $168 for the bed although it is needed after PT/OT assessment. RECycMEd offers the bed at perhaps half or less of the selling price, like $840, and patient is willing to pay $84 for the bed now after the 90% SMEF subsidy. Bed is recycled successfully and it makes commercial sense for RECycMEd to do this business. RECycMEd may even offer the patient for free if he is able to claim the $840 - $84 = $756 from AIC SMEF for the bed.
It will be a win-win-win-win situation, family can dispose of use furniture for Free or even get something in return, new needy patient gets cheaper hospital furniture and equipment are recycled and not wasted. MSW can have easier access to cheap hospital furniture and the government saves from the discounted furniture.
Kindly help me forward to anyone interested in working out such processes. At least I will know what to do next time patient calls me for all these used hospital furniture.