Singaporeans can help rein in rising healthcare costs

Most people have the notion that it is the sole responsibility of the Government to manage the problem of increased healthcare expenditure ("'Prevent rapid rise in healthcare costs'"; Wednesday).

While the Government will endeavour to prevent a rapid rise in healthcare costs due to our ageing population and increased life expectancy, Singaporeans can also play a part in facing such challenges, by having the discipline to economise in their use of the healthcare system.

The least we can do is to have a sense of wellness, which includes staying healthy, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet.

It is true that a country where people are healthier spends less money per person in terms of healthcare costs.

All of us should strive to be in such a healthy situation so that there will be less pressure on the Government to increase healthcare expenditure, which, in turn, means less pressure to raise taxes.

One plausible way is for Singaporeans to take care of their health and to economise on healthcare consumption.

This can help the state stretch its healthcare financing system further to benefit more people.

Perhaps it is beneficial for the public to understand what the healthcare system is all about, and what has to be done to make it sustainable.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 22, 2016, with the headline 'Singaporeans can help rein in rising healthcare costs'. Print Edition | Subscribe