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Healthcare is not a commodity, SDP offers alternative

In a time of rising healthcare costs, insufficient hospital beds and an ageing population, Singapore’s healthcare system must adapt to meet these challenges. The question is, how much change is needed? Does the 3M system – Medisave, Medishield and Medifund – provide enough of a safety net for Singaporeans? With our government healthcare expenditure (GHE) being a third of total healthcare expenditure (THE), the lowest in the developed world, is it possible or necessary to increase government healthcare spending? Dr Chee Soon Juan, Secretary-General of the Singapore Democratic Party says the “fundamental premise of the current system is wrong.” “Healthcare is not a commodity that you buy and sell in the market,” he tells publichouse.sg. “You’re talking about a situation whereby people, the poor, cannot afford healthcare, many of them stay away from getting treatment, or they delay it, and the consequences can sometimes be literally life and death situations.” His party has marshalled a panel of doctors to help craft a healthcare policy radically different from the one currently in place in Singapore. Many of these doctors have, in their day to day practice, encountered patients who struggle to pay for medical treatment and who even refuse treatment because…