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Library Financing Health Care : Singapore’s Innovative Approach

Financing Health Care : Singapore’s Innovative Approach

Financing Health Care : Singapore’s Innovative Approach

Resource information

Date of publication
August 2012
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

Health care costs are escalating rapidly
in many countries. While many factors contribute to rising
costs, health insurance plays a part by shielding patients
and physicians from the real cost. In an effort to contain
costs, governments, employers, and insurers have modified
payment schemes and coverage, often leading to rationing and
restricted consumer choice and in some cases to denial of
care. Singapore is unique among developed countries in
achieving excellent health outcomes at a low economic cost.
Part of its success may be attributable to its health
financing system, which combines individual responsibility
with targeted subsidies. Despite Singapore's small
size, with only 3.2 million residents in a land area of 660
square kilometers, the country has been a stellar economic
performer, rising from impoverishment only 40 years ago. Its
per capita GDP, US$427 in 1960, rose to US$24,740 in 2000,
one of the highest in the world. Singapore's health
indicators are equally impressive. Its average life
expectancy increased by 15 years from 1960 (63 years) to
2001 (78) and is now one of the world's longest. Its
infant mortality rate is the world's lowest, at 2.2 per
1,000 live births, much improved from 6.6 in 1990 (and 34.9
in 1960) and far lower than rates in most other countries.
Both the public and the private sector provide health care
in Singapore. The public sector provides 20 percent of
primary care and 80 percent of hospital care through two
integrated care networks. The private sector dominates
primary health care, providing 80 percent through its 1,900
clinics. The 13 private hospitals account for 20 percent of
inpatient admissions. Singapore has 11,800 hospital beds
(3.7 per 1,000 people).

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

Taylor, Rob
Blair, Simon

Data Provider
Geographical focus