Healthcare: 4 nails in the coffin?


By: Leong Sze Hian

I  refer to the article “Record jumps in hospital, clinic attendance last year” (Straits  Times, Oct 16).

“Hospital admissions increased by a record 9 per cent last year compared with 2015. This is more than double the annual increases of up to 4 per cent in the past decade. Similarly, polyclinic attendance rose by 8 per cent over 2015 – eclipsing the annual increases of 0.2 per cent to 4.9 per cent since 2007. Attendance at specialist outpatient clinics at public hospitals also spiked 5 per cent – the highest annual increase in a decade.
Of the 555,284 hospital admissions last year, 425,691 were in public hospitals, with more than a third being patients above the age of 65 years. The 8 per cent spike in patient visits at polyclinics saw the number of such visits hitting 5.3 million – almost 400,000 more than in 2015. This is despite the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) subsidy that about half the population is entitled to when treated at a general practice (GP) clinic.
The spokesman added: “MOH has redoubled efforts to keep healthcare sustainable and to meet the needs of our population.”

The 1st  nail in the healthcare  coffin?

S’pore’s hospital beds increased 2.8% from 2001 to 2016?

In this connection, the number of total hospital beds in Singapore was 11,936 in 2001 and only increased by about 2.8 per cent to 12,268 (12,268 divided by 11,936 beds) from 2001 to 2016.

Population increased 37% by 1.51m?

Against this, the population has increased by 37 per cent from 4.1 million in 2001 to 5.61 million in June 2016.

The  2nd  nail  in the healthcare coffin?

Singapore’s public healthcare  spending as a percentage of GDP, at just about 2.5 per cent ($9.8 divided by $400 billion), is probably the lowest in the world.

“Singapore’s workers contribute” up to 10.5 “percent of their wages to mandated savings accounts (Medisave account) that may be spent on health care” and “insurance””.

The  3rd nail  in the healthcare coffin?

Singapore workers contribute” up to 10.5 “percent of their wages to mandated savings accounts (Medisave account) that may be spent on health care” and “insurance””.

This is I believe is in a sense from a cashflow perspective – probably the highest national health insurance contribution (pre-pay basis) in the world.

The  4th  nail  in the healthcare coffin?

From a cashflow perspective – the Government  may still not be spending a single cent on healthcare, as total annual Medisave contributions plus the annual interest on total Medisave accounts’ balances may exceed total annual government spending on healthcare and withdrawals for medical expenses and insurance premiums.


  1. Population increased by more than 1 million between 2001 and 2016 but only 300+ hospital beds were added during the same period? Just goes to show how myopic and utterly incompetent the world’s most highly paid PAP Cabinet is. Propping up GDP growth by opening the floodgates for Third World migrants, padding up their voter base and their own pockets through GDP-linked bonuses, even when basic infrastructure and amenities like public healthcare and the MRT are not ready to cope with the influx.

  2. Logical… Generate revenues by importing n ballooning population n drastically cut down beds so many will have to bid for COE .. Certificate of Emergency to get a bed.

  3. Bunch of idiot talking shit. Did you all even check how many hosiptal is already being built and is going to be built. The same freaking people who complain about FT doctor and FT nurses may now see that with the opening of these few hospital we are going to be very short of staff. I was recently warded for 10 days at NUH. During the 10 day stay. 90% of the doctor and nurse are FT the remaining 10% are local with more than half trainee nurses from Poly and ITE, So shut the fuck up. What is the use of builting more hospital and there is no staff. Than you can complain again that Singapoire goverment is fuck and there are not enough nursing staff. Enough of your bull shit . Be real for while instead of talking bad about the govement. think for a while what the real problem is. Sure the Singapore goverment has it’s flaw. Some big flaw too. But give credit when it due and not punch them blindly. Just for info. I got to wait more than 24 hours in a temporary ward until they can allocate me a bed. I been throught it, have you?

  4. Before even increasing infrastructure our efficient authority increased population mainly from PRC to be able to maintain race ratio. Result…overcrowded roads, public transport, hospitals with insufficient beds and doctors having more than their fair share of patients, and the list goes on. Worst still the sewer system has to handle 6 million peoples shit. Isnt that a joke

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