By LM — A recent healthcare survey conducted by Radar Healthcare among the 33 developed countries has proved what we all had feared all along. The hospital-to-population statistics reveal that Singapore stands at the bottom among the developed countries at 0.05%.
To put this into context, for 5,943,546 Singaporeans, there are only 27 Hospitals available. This means that every hospital is serving an average of 220,000 Singaporeans. Here is how the top countries are performing.
The figures alone, expose all the weaknesses of our healthcare system.
We have already seen the strain on our healthcare system. Our overworked healthcare staff, the lack of beds in hospitals, the overcrowding, limited subsidies for patients – the survey points this to the low spending on healthcare by our government.
The Singaporean government only spends SGD 9.8 Million out of SGD 400 Billion. South Korea, the top country, was spending close to what Singapore was in 2000. Yet, they ramped up their spending over 19 years and ended up spending 8.16 per cent of its GDP in 2019 while Singapore spent 4.08 per cent. This is how they rose to the top while we stayed at the bottom.
With such limited spending, it is no wonder that our healthcare is not up to standard.
Moreover, Singapore prides itself on its multi-payer financial system.
But this means that patients end up paying more than 60% of healthcare costs out-of-pocket. That is why patients with basic coverage have a lot of concerns about affording medical attention. The financial strain of medical bills, notably those without add-on integrated plans, also limits patients’ choices of treatment procedures.
The PAP should spend more time on ensuring public welfare and not engage themselves in irrelevant debates or media frenzies. It’s public health we are talking about, we shouldn’t be playing with people’s lives.