Riding Out the Recession
March 23, 2009
Coffeebeans Project – A Gift for the Needy during the Recession
Coffeebeans Project
Free Medical Consultation for the Needy during the Recession

We feel sad to hear about our fellow Singaporeans who had lost their money and jobs. About 6,500 Singaporeans (according to the Weekend Today 7 Feb 2009) are in arrears with their HDB installments. Some of our fellow Singaporeans have even avoided seeking medical attention when needed.

In times of crisis, it is even more important to maintain one’s health.
During a meeting we all decided that we should do something. The general feelings were that we are too small to do anything useful. Most of us thought that the government or CDC would have taken care of this problem. However someone brought up a point that there are young low income individuals who have lost their jobs. They may not even have any savings and spending money on minor ailments like flu and headache would be the last thing in their minds.

Our staff, doctors, clinic assistants and management team, together with the company donated a total of $20,000 to do our part so that the needy are not deprived of basic GP care during this difficult time.

We apportioned the amount of $20,000 into 1,000 vouchers with a value of $20 each for one outpatient visit at a network of GP clinics.

We are already linked to 400 GP clinics in Singapore through an interactive web based claim and adjudication system. So the easiest and most natural  thing to do is to convince our network of GP to accept the $20 voucher and seek reimbursement through our web based system in the usual way.

Doctors from our participating GP clinics are also willing to keep the cost down to help those who seek treatment with these $20 vouchers. If the bill size exceeds $20, the patient only needs to pay the difference.

When boiled, an egg hardens and resists changes while a carrot softens and succumbs easily to external stress. But coffee beans emit a rich aroma which inspires and the caffeine acts as a stimulant which refreshes the depressed soul and the spirit.

As a small enterprise we are like coffee beans, and the fund we raised is meager when compared to the size of the problem. Nonetheless we felt burdened when we read of all the bad news every day.

We felt that we are together as Singaporeans in this economic crisis. We hope that other companies which are financially stronger would also do likewise.

Coffee Bean is the acronym for 'Comfort Our Friends, Fill Each Emptiness. Be Encouraging And Nice!