To realise Healthier SG, the new preventive care strategy, Singapore will spend more than $1 billion over the next three to four years in set-up costs, such as new information technology systems and support to get general practitioner (GP) clinics ready for the scheme. It also will spend an estimated $400 million a year on recurrent costs, such as annual health screenings for residents and an annual service fee for GPs. Singapore spends about 6 per cent of its healthcare budget on preventive care every year, such as by funding the Health Promotion Board. With Healthier SG, the primary motivation would be to reduce the burden of disease and suffering.
The airing of this issue in Parliament on Tuesday shone light again on how society can serve citizens while keeping an eye on healthcare costs, which have to be managed if the system is to be sustainable in the long run. Healthier SG seeks to shift the gravity of care from the hospitals to the community. In taking a preventive approach to the onset and progress of disease, the strategy should enhance the quality of life of Singaporeans, both those who suffer from ill health and those who need to care for them.