National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) started its operations in 2000 as a spin -off unit of Singapore General Hospital (SGH). Its vision is ‘to be a global leading cancer centre’.With a core objective to offer comprehensive cancer treatment ranging from surgery, medicine and radiation, and ancillary services like Palliative Care and Cancer Diagnostics to Singaporeans, the centre is supported by a staff strength of 800 which comprises strong teams of clinicians trained in cancer as a discipline and sub-specialise in different cancer types; researchers, nursing and allied health staff - all to provide quality clinical care to cancer patients.
Clinicians partner research scientists for cancer research. Research is informed of clinical observations peculiar to different cancer types and this set some direction in the approach to the research process itself. Adopting a ‘Bench to bedside’ stance, research is conducted at the basic science level and translational level before any research findings, drug toxicity and safety are validated in clinical trials and launched as an approved drug in the market.
By way of sharing expertise and contributing to the learning of future generations of oncologists, Clinicians are also given teaching appointment at local universities. 1.4
The healthcare industry in Singapore is dominated by a few large players that own more than one healthcare institution in theirrespective cluster. It resembles closely to the oligopolistic business structure. Within each healthcare cluster, they offer differentiated healthcare services. As there are only a few players in the market, there are high barriers to entry and they have some degree of control over pricing. The relationship between each player in the industry is interdependent and each response to the actions of its competitors by predicting their strategic behavior. They coordinate their strategic actions to maximize joint performance (Roth aermel 2012, p.63). One such example is when NCCS is acquiring the latest technology in radiation treatment like Proton Therapy. To ensure business viability, the major players have formed a business agreement to enable patients needing proton therapy to be sent to NCCS for treatment. The players include NCIS and Parkway Cancer Centre. 2
External Environment Analysis
2.1.1 NCCS operates within the healthcare guidelines stipulated by the Min istry of Health. It sets out a mandate for public healthcare institutions in Singapore to operate for the purpose of serving l ocal patientsat subsidized rates and allow non-residents to use public healthcare services at non-subsidised rates. The health policy requires that public healthcare has to be affordable for all Singaporeans and no one regardless of financial status, is turned away from seeking medical treatment. It is only under nonsubsidised schemes that individuals, who may pay for healthcare services through personal health insurance, get to choose their own specialist, hospital ward class and costly medication. Additi onal aid is provided to those who need financial assistance through government funded schemes such as Medisave, Medifund and Medishield.
2.1.2 The ministry also stipulated that public healthcare institutions are not allowe d to advertise or make claims of service superiority when promoting its institution to the public. 2.2
2.2.1 Growth rate: Cancer is a worldwide phenomenon and according to statistics, one in four people will contract the disease. In Singapore, the demand for cancer treatment is expected to increase, with more than 12,000 people expected to have cancer by 2015.
2.2.2 NCCS currently serves 65% of the cancer patients in Singapore and limits its foreign patient workload to less than10% of its total patient workload. Singaporeans will continue to need healthcare services regardless of their economic situations. While they can reduce spending in lifestyle...