From a cashflow perspective – are we spending any money on healthcare?
I refer to the article “Reserves cannot be further tapped for healthcare: PM” (Straits Times, Mar 5).
It states that “Singapore cannot draw more from its reserves to fund healthcare spending in the future, as this will quickly deplete its nest egg, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The needs of an ageing society are beyond those of “a rainy day”, he said. “It is an ‘everyday need money’ day. We will need to spend more on healthcare every year, year after year, for many years to come.”
In this connection, Singapore’s public healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP, at just about 2.5 per cent ($9.8 divided by $400 billion), is probably the lowest in the world.
Singapore workers contribute” up to 10.5 “percent of their wages to mandated savings accounts (Medisave account) that may be spent on health care” and “insurance””.
This is I believe is in a sense from a cashflow perspective – probably the highest national health insurance contribution (pre-pay basis) in the world.
From a cashflow perspective – the Government may still not be spending any money on healthcare, as total annual Medisave contributions plus the annual interest on total Medisave accounts’ balances may exceed total annual government spending on healthcare and withdrawals for medical expenses and insurance premiums.
Leong Sze Hian