Private healthcare sector urged to work with public sector and aim for affordability

Farrer Park Hospital, the new private hospital in Farrer Park Station Road.
Farrer Park Hospital, the new private hospital in Farrer Park Station Road. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - As Singapore's healthcare needs rise with an ageing population, the private healthcare sector will be an important partner in meeting these needs, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Wednesday (March 16).

Speaking at the official opening of the 220-bed Farrer Park Hospital, he said private healthcare providers should aim to serve Singaporeans at affordable prices, and in closer partnership with other healthcare providers both public and private.

Older patients, he pointed out, are more likely to need treatment that crosses from one healthcare setting to another, such as from an acute hospital to a community hospital.

Mr Gan called on private hospitals to develop systems and relationships to facilitate this, such as upgrading their IT systems.

He also stressed affordability: "Elderly patients are often more price sensitive. Healthcare providers must aim to give effective and affordable treatment to their patients."

This includes choosing drugs for their function, not brand name, he said.