Providing good health care a challenge : PM Lee Hsien Loong
Published on 11 Feb
The issue discussed here is that it's tough providing good health care for Singaporeans. As the usual economic model "willing buyer, willing seller" do not work for healthcare and that a variety of tools are needed to shape behaviors to produce a good collective outcome, it becomes financially and socially challenging. Every amount of money used in healthcare is essential because it depletes the chance to improve on other areas such as education, housing, defence or on personal needs of Singaporeans. Dr Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organisation said that in terms of return on investment, Singapore is number 1 in the world, pointing to the 4.2 per cent of gross domestic product spent on health care here, compared with the 18 per cent in the United States.
In this case, Mr Lee Hsien Loong states that providing good health care is one of the greatest responsibility of any government and is very hard to achieve. I totally agree with him because recently in Singapore, there is a shortage of doctors and most of our nurses are foreign workers. This could be a lack of local talent in this aspect or Singaporeans find the job too overloaded. Besides that, Mr Lee also states that a variety of tools are needed from pricing and regulation to incentives, exhortation and even compulsion to shape behaviour by doctors, patients, administrators, drug suppliers, in order to produce a good collective outcome. This makes it even more difficult financially and every dollar used in healthcare is precious because it comes from the taxpayers and it cannot be used in other areas such as education or basic needs of people, etc. Although Sinagpore hospitals are depending mostly on foreign health care workers, especially nurses, the government now is encouraging more teens to groom themselves to be acceptable to become health care workers so that they will not have to spend more money on hiring foreign talents to Singapore. This will then ease the difficulty caused financially to provide a good health care for Singaporeans. I believe that Singapore will be able to succeed one day and even barriers will not stand in the way.