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Empowering Singaporeans to live healthily

06 Mar 2019 2 min read

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Singapore’s healthcare system can be kept affordable if its citizens stay healthy, said Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong.

Speaking during the Committee of Supply debate, Mr Gan stated that the increase in healthcare spending is becoming unsustainable. Singapore’s national healthcare spending has doubled – from $11 billion in 2010 to $21 billion in 2016. He also said that the Government’s health expenditure has increased 2.4 times, from $3.9 billion to $9.3 billion.

To meet the various healthcare needs of Singaporeans, Mr Gan shared how healthcare manpower and infrastructure has been ramped up since 2010.

  • Doctors – up 52%
  • Nurses – up 44%
  • Medical school intake – up from 300 to 500
  • Seven new hospitals built – total of 3,800 beds when fully opened

While the increase in spending is partly due to an ageing population, Mr Gan stressed that the most effective way to sustain Singapore’s healthcare system is for Singaporeans to take decisive steps towards healthy living.

Mr Gan pointed out that deaths from cancer, stroke and heart diseases have fallen by 16 per cent between 2010 and 2017 as a result of early prevention, better treatment and disease management. Quoting a recent Bloomberg study, he also mentioned that diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels in Singapore has increased by 4 per cent, 14 per cent and 33 per cent respectively among adults aged 18 to 69 years, between 2010 and 2017.

Earlier, Dr Chia Shi Lu, head of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Health and MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, expressed his disappointment that Singapore, once ranked the healthiest country in the world, had fallen to 8th place this year.

As a another initiative to encourage Singaporeans to take control of their health, the Healthy Ministry will offer free cervical cancer vaccines to female Secondary 1 students, better screening for cervical cancer and non-fasting screening for diabetes and cholesterol.