Better health care for all

The Business Times
View From The Top
Published: 9 Nov 2015

What are the hallmarks of a good healthcare system?
How else, if at all, might Singapore’s MediShield Life scheme be tweaked to ensure healthcare costs remain affordable for an ageing population?

Some of the components that contribute to a good healthcare system include access, cost, delivery and quality. In these regards, Singapore’s healthcare system is certainly strong in meeting the needs of its citizens.

The fact that MediShield Life is accessible to every Singaporean and permanent resident due to its compulsory nature make it superior to it predecessors. The coverage is more comprehensive, offering better protection and higher payouts, and with no limits on age or total lifetime claims, and it even covers those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Better coverage obviously comes at a higher cost and this calls forth the issue of affordability. Itis thus important that the government has committed to subsidising the premiums for those in need, since every citizen is “forced” to take on these higher premiums.

The factors of delivery and quality are non-issues, as the quality of Singapore’s healthcare services is among the highest in the world.

Insurance premiums climb with the insures’s age so the key is indeed to find a way to keep premiums affordable for every citizen – while still being able to offer such comprehensive coverage.

While we don’t want to encourage citizens to become dependent on  the government for help, the onus is on the government to ensure affordability of subsidise those who really cannot afford it, since the MediShield Life scheme was made compulsory and citizens cannot opt out.

Ronald Lee
Managing Director
PrimeStaff Management Services Pte Ltd