Healthcare system needs to be sustainable in the face of rising demand: Chee Hong Tat

Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat talking to a patient during the opening of Yishun Community Hospital on Dec 28, 2015.
Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat talking to a patient during the opening of Yishun Community Hospital on Dec 28, 2015.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - Given the limited manpower, land and financial resources, Singapore must do all it can to prevent spikes in healthcare costs, said Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat on Tuesday morning (Jan 19).

Speaking at the fourth Healthcare Infrastructure Technology & Engineering Conference, he noted the rapid rise in healthcare demand brought about by an ageing population.

He said: "If we continue business as usual, the rise in healthcare demand will become unsustainable."

There is a need, therefore, to ensure that the healthcare system is sustainable as costs will ultimately be borne by Singaporeans.

Costs are being contained in Singapore in two ways - integration of healthcare facilities, and innovation through optimising design and workflow, he told the estimated 300 or more delegates at the conference, themed "Cost effective hospital design: Doing more with less".

More community hospitals will be co-located with acute hospitals, allowing them to share resources and improving cost effectiveness, he said.

In optimising workflow, the Ministry of Health Holdings has embarked on some key initiatives. This includes using 3D digital modeling to pre-empt design flaws in the building of new hospitals before construction even starts.