How to treat the problem of rising healthcare costs

The emphasis on primary and community care is in the right direction but more public information is needed on the progress made by existing strategies to help ensure funding goes to where it is most needed.

A polyclinic waiting room. The challenge for Singapore’s healthcare sector is to reduce the incidence and impact of chronic disease, provide more resources for geriatric care, healthy ageing, and options for a dignified death, the writer says. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

In The Sunday Times of May 30 (Expanded community care to keep health costs down), Health Minister Ong Ye Kung highlighted key strategies to rein in the worrying rise in healthcare spending.

Speaking to more than 700 healthcare workers during his ministry's annual work plan seminar on May 25, he had expressed concern over the rise in Singapore's national healthcare expenditure, which has almost doubled from $10 billion in 2010 to $21 billion in 2018, and looks set to triple to $59 billion in 2030.

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