Singapore—On Friday (Dec 18), Bloomberg published its annual Health-Efficiency Index, wherein Singapore and Hong Kong topped the list of the most-efficient health care systems around the globe.

A post announcing this was published the following day on the Singapore Matters Facebook page, which was then shared by Madam Ho Ching, the wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings.

According to Singapore Matters, A public health crisis puts a healthcare system to the test. And the leadership and healthcare workers have risen to the occasion.

Every COVID-19 patient receives the best of care. The system was not overwhelmed because the leadership took quick action to build capacities and facilities to provide tiered care according to a patient’s severity of infection.

Years of investment in R&D also paid off. Singapore was able to quickly develop test kits, and even a vaccine.

Everything adds up.”

This year Bloomberg’s Health-Efficiency Index, which “tracks life expectancy and medical spending to determine which health-care systems have the best outcomes,” included the impact of the pandemic on mortality and gross domestic product in 57 of the world biggest economies.

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Eight out of the top 10 spots in the index are occupied by Asian countries or territories, where the initial response to Covid-19 was “generally aggressive” and the number of people who died was kept low.

Joining Singapore and Hong Kong in the top 10 are Taiwan (third), South Korea (fourth) Thailand (ninth) and Japan (tenth). Australia and New Zealand are ranked seventh and eighth, respectively. The only European country to make it to the top ten is Ireland, ranked sixth, while Israel ranks fifth.

The United States, which far and away has the biggest number of Covid-19 infections and fatalities in the world, ranked 50 on the index, with only Brazil and Cuba ranking lower than the US. These three countries also have a weak economic outlook for the coming year.

Commenting on the successes of several Asian countries in beating the pandemic, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Pisonthi Chongtrakul, said, “Efficient health systems are often in places that have limited natural resources and therefore prioritize policies that rely on people potential.”

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Furthermore, he added that “Success in combating Covid-19 has come in places that coordinated among government bodies and were willing to let health experts call the shots, which helped create a clarity of public messaging.”

The report added that the International Monetary Fund has said that contraction is predicted for all 57 countries on Bloomberg’s index for 2021, except for China and Taiwan.  —/TISG