Health Minister promises to keep healthcare costs down, but medical inflation set to rise faster than region

In a survey conducted by Manulife in 2014, 71% of middle-class to affluent Singaporeans were concerned about deteriorating health in their old age. The same survey showed that on average, Singaporeans expect to spend 13% of their retirement income on medical bills and 55% of those surveyed had worries over “unaffordable” healthcare costs.

Report: Singapore’s medicals costs set to rise higher than average

Channel NewsAsia reported on Saturday (7 Apr) that a Healthcare Trends Report by consultancy firm Aon Asia projected that healthcare costs in Singapore will rise faster than most of the Asian region. Using an index designed to reflect insurers’ views on medical inflation, Singapore had a score of 95.1 – higher than the median score of 82.7.

The author noted that there “is still plenty to be done to curb medical inflation in Singapore starting with medical insurers and healthcare providers working together on chronic disease management programmes, and companies encouraging their employees to participate in wellness programmes.”

The report also gave the medical inflation was 20% 2014 and was 9.6% in 2017. This is in contrast with a statement by Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat which stated that the average annual healthcare inflation rate was 2.4 per cent between 2011 and 2016 after taking into consideration government subsidies.

Minister of Health: Subsidies ensure that healthcare remains affordable

In a 2016 Committee of Supply debate, the Minister for Health outlined several key initiatives to make healthcare costs affordable. Such initiatives include the Medishield Life, Pioneer Generation Package, and an increase in subsidies for outpatient drugs and specialist care which benefits 715,000 Singaporeans.

This was reaffirmed the following year when the Minister said that Singaporeans “have multiple layers of support for their healthcare needs” and that the government “will regularly review the adequacy of drug subsidies and the different schemes to ensure that medication remains affordable”.

Prominent Blogger: Healthcare subsidies are PAP ‘propaganda’

Blogger Phillip Ang – whose blog likedatosocanmeh has gotten more than 1.6 million views – called healthcare subsidies as “propaganda”. He cited an example on how a polyclinic consultation increased from $11 to $11.80 despite an increase in grant as the consultation fees were also increased in tandem at a higher pace. He added that this was no better than a private GP, which costs $20.

What do you think?

 

Kwok Fangjie

 

 

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11 Responses to “Health Minister promises to keep healthcare costs down, but medical inflation set to rise faster than region”

  • RDB:

    PAP I repeat is nothing but Pee And Poo since Lee Kar Yew days as PM1!

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  • RDB:

    Chee Hong Tat as Minister not know where government’s operating income comes from???

    If not from it’s people, then from who?

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  • Amos proved PAP hypocrisy:

    PAP way of keeping Singaporeans spending on healthcare “down” is to make it too expensive they cannot afford to pay it. Anyway, you get sick and die, your business. If you voted for PAP, you deserve it.

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  • LIONS:

    in order to achieve this,the govt needs to STOP MEDICAL TOURISM AT OUR GOVT HOSPITALS AND JUST LET PRIVATE HOSPITALS CLAMOR FOR FOREIGN PATIENTS>

    WHY SHD ORDINARY SGS suffer for the govt’s greed?

    TIME TO REFORM GOVT HOSPITALS AND REVERT BACK TO SG patients FIRST rather than TOURISM $$$ FIRST?

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  • N.Jungne:

    Hell Minister and Sr.Minister will be selling Insurance.

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  • No way out:

    Yeah, they gonna keep healthcare affordable by raising our Medisave, Medishield, Eldershield premiums till our CPFs all kosong or can never take out…EVER!
    should know their famous double talk by now.
    For many folk who seldom fall ill “touch wood”, all these deductions are literally ‘robbing us blind’.

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  • Bapak:

    Don’t be naive. You believe them, you die faster. As long as PAP is in control, costs will NEVER come down. VTO is the only solution to bring ALL costs down.

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  • Believing, r u kidding:

    Ministerial pay too high review – get plps to get ind expertcwith nfi and nfe -Few $ token reduction for hidden millions nfi nfe expert fee.

    Foreigners population exceeding security risk and citizenry comfort and adverse interests – get plps to glance at it GET MORE incl no problem to replace PMETs.

    CPF fund doubt: use to pay medicare a matter of shifting figures in opacity spent and hence no need to acct for save Citizens fund merry go round

    High medicare chance to spent CPF and still retained in Palp musical chair. Gorrilla has a great time to plp foreign lp with trillions as the musical chair passes by.

    So More gorilla schemes of using spent cpf even not sick but so call insurance.

    Yau siew kia. Hum ka chan. palp biws

    Sonny is a good cartoonist. Draw more explicitly for the nfi biws cannot fathom sarcasms and their diff frm jokes. Then good cartoonist become bashed cartoonist when wolves shed the sheepskin.

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  • costs are going up or down:

    //Health Minister promises to keep healthcare costs down, but medical inflation set to rise faster than region//

    aiyoh. what promise lar ? don’t need to tok and promise lar. just do it lar, daft sinkies will know whether costs are going up or down by referencing to past costs lar e.g like costs of water lar.

    promising to comfort people and if not in action / practice will only work for those very daft daft sinkies lar.

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  • Blur sotong we are:

    Haven’t they corporatized the Ministry of Health into a profit-seeking entity?
    So this is a promise by ministerial businessmen that will seek to reduce their profits? Honestly?

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  • Sputzy:

    It’s very easy to make the kind of promise re costs that
    the Health Minister has done. Keeping such promises is a
    whole other matter. One can’t help but note that he has
    not said How he’s going to keep costs down.

    And he obviously isn’t doing so, becos all insurance costs
    are up, co-payment is up and a survey has shown that medical
    costs in Spore are rising faster than in other places. So
    he’s broken his word — even as he uttered his promise. In
    today’s jargon, what he told us was fake! In yesterday’s
    English, one would describe his promise as an outright lie…

    How does one believe anything else the man says?!? Only fools
    would believe him.

    And since he doesn’t appear to have a clue as to how he will
    cut costs, it means he’s a failure at his job. Since all are
    so keen to follow LKY’s pronouncements, as the man can’t do
    his job, the fellow has got to go!!

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