Changes to Singapore Health System
A health system is the sum total of all the organizations, institutions and resources whose primary purpose is to improve health. A health system needs staff, funds, information, supplies, transport, communications and overall guidance and direction. And it needs to provide services that are responsive and financially fair, while treating people decently. A good health system improves people’s lives tangibly every day. A mother who gets a letter reminding her that her young son is due for immunization against a life-threatening illness is benefiting from a health system. The same holds true for a family finally able to access clean water at a well-tended pump in its village because of a government sponsored sanitation project; or a person with HIV/AIDS who gets antiretroviral medicine, nutritional counselling and regular check-ups at an affordable clinic. The ultimate responsibility for the overall performance of a country's health system lies with government, but good stewardship by regions, municipalities and individual health institutions is also vital. Strengthening health systems and making them more equitable have been recognized as key strategies for fighting poverty and fostering development. Problems with health systems are not confined to poor countries. Some rich countries have large populations without access to care because of inequitable arrangements for social protection. Others are struggling with escalating costs because of inefficient use of resources. A good health system delivers quality services to all people, when and where they need them. The exact configuration of services varies from country to country, but in all cases requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately paid workforce; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies; well- maintained facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies. Without strong policies and leadership, health systems do not spontaneously provide balanced responses to these challenges, nor do they make the most efficient use of their resources. As most health leaders know, health systems are subject to powerful forces and influences that often override rational policy making. These forces include disproportionate focus on specialist curative care, fragmentation in a multiplicity of competing programs, projects and institutions, and the pervasive commercialisation of health care delivery in poorly regulated systems. Keeping health systems on track requires a strong sense of direction, and coherent investment in the various building blocks of the health system, so as to provide the kind of services that produce results.
Healthcare in Singapore is mainly under the responsibility of the Singapore Government's Ministry of Health. Singapore generally has an efficient and widespread system of healthcare. Singapore was ranked 6th in the World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems in the year 2000. Prior to the forming of the healthcare cluster Singhealth and National Healthcare Group (NHG), all the hospitals are providing care on their own. With clustering of the hospitals in place, better and higher quality of care can be seen provided for patients. Our healthcare system comprises public and private healthcare, complemented by rising standards of living, housing, education, medical services, safe water supply and sanitation, and preventive medicine. Over the years, MOH has followed the principle of ensuring that good and affordable basic medical services are available to all Singaporeans. We have been continuously fine-tuning our system to ensure we are always aligned with this principle and developed our healthcare system into one that has received praise and recognition both locally and internationally.
Singapore has a modified universal healthcare system where the government ensures affordability of healthcare within the public health system,...
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