Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Review of public health care, 2013

The Ministry of Health is embarking on a major review in 2013 to ensure that
public health care remains accessible and affordable to Singaporeans.

I hope that the review should involve all sectors of our society in the spirit of 
the "National Conversation".

Our current system of paying from health care through many sources, known
as the 3M approach, plus personal savings, should also be reviewed. 

We should consider alternative approaches, such as the single payer system, that is used 
successfully in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Taiwan.

A single payer system allows better control of the health care bill and reduces 
the heavy administrative cost.

An alternative approach, used in Japan and several European countries, allows
a large part of the bill to be paid from a single insurance plan, instead of the 
fragmented sources adopted in Singapore.

I have been personally involved in the medical insurance business for a large
part of the past 20 years. I know the practical aspects of managing a national insurance 
pooling scheme and also the confusion faced by the patients of dealing with our 
current fragmented payment system . 

If we have to retain the 3M approach, there is much that can be done to 
streamline the system and remove the gaps and inefficiencies that have been created. It
requires the fundamental flaws to be addressed, instead of the "tweaking" approach that 
has been adopted in past years. 

A group of eminent health care professionals have have put in nine months of study to 
produce a paper entitled "SDP national Healthcare Plan: Caring for all citizens". These 
professionals have personal experience in the provision of health care, know the underlying 
problems and have come out with a possible solution. 

I hope that they will be engaged in the review and their proposals should be considered.

Tan Kin Lian


sgcynic said...

"I hope that they will be engaged in the review and their proposals should be considered."

DId the government acknowledge their effort, or even their existence?

michael13 said...

Agreed. All the reviews of unsound policies should involve all sectors(including the opposition parties) of our society in the spirit of the "National Conversation".

My '2013' New Year's wish: It's time that we start the "National Reconciliation". We cannot afford as a tiny nation, to quarrel forever like the USA Congress - "If Pro is the opposite of the Con, the Progress is the opposite of the Congress."

sgcynic said...

Yes, let's do so and not AIM to do something else.

anonymous said...

Just curious if any party invited you to participate in developing the future healthcare framework? Given your vast experience, it would be a waste if nobody bothered to tap on your knowledge.

Kin Lian Tan said...

Reply to 5.47 PM
It is rude for you to ask a personal question without stating your name and purpose.

anonymous said...

Mr. Tan, I am no more anonymous than sgcynic or michael13 oe zhummmmeng. At least I am honest to indicate that I wish to be an anonymous poster. Who is sgcynic? Who is michael13? You don't know too, don't you?

Should I create a gmail account with a fake name like johndoel14 or sgworker02 to give a "name" in cyberspace?

My apologies if my question seemed personal to you; on the contrary, it was a general question wondering why you were not consulted, after your postings made sense and you are the president of FISCA.

Please there no need to publish this reply to your response to my earlier comment. I do not mean any harm. Thanks.

Kin Lian Tan said...

sgcynic is a pen name. After a while, we know what is his thinking, provided that he keeps to one identity.

Anonymous can be many people posting under this name. If you wish to create a pen name, it is better.

Bruce Eatchel said...

Really it is nice post.
Health Care Cost Containment

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