Lowest healthcare spending in the world?


Is Singapore’s government healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP the lowest in the world?

I refer to the article “Jump in number of Chas card holders” (Straits Times, Aug 24).

It states that “The number of Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) card holders has grown by five times since 2012 to about 1.3 million Singaporeans.

In the last six years, the amount spent on the scheme has also grown by more than 10 times.”

My friend said “aiyah, this is in a sense, akin to – like a story-teller telling you – oh, last time I never spend any money to help you, then recently I spent some money, and then now I spend many times more you know!”

“Shouldn’t a professional story-teller make a comparison with other countries too?”

As to “Last year alone, the Government disbursed about $154 million in Chas subsidies to about 650,000 Singaporeans, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement yesterday” – this works out to about $237 per person.

$154 million is about 0.03% of GDP ($154 million divided by $445 billion).

Is this one of the lowest primary healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP in the world?

In this connection, according to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) web site – government healthcare expenditure as a percentage of GDP was only 2.1% in FY2015.

Is this the lowest in the world?

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.