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Over $1 Billion to be Spent for Singapore’s Preventive Healthcare

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The Healthier SG Programme aims to have one family physician and one health plan for every resident of Singapore.

The Healthier SG Programme will start catering to residents ages 60 and above in the second quarter of 2023. The government of Singapore announced that a budget of over $1 billion will be spent in the next three to four years. This budget will be used to set up technological systems and support having General Physician (GP) clinics ready for the programme.

An estimated recurrent cost of $400 million per year will be spent on annual health screening for residents and yearly service fees for GPs. 

During the National Medical Excellence Awards 2022 last September 2022, Minister Ong Ye Kung explained that clusters will be given funds based on the number of people it looks after. Funding will not be based on the service that will be provided or workload.

He added “..and if we are successful, we will progressively reshape the operations of and the focus of our healthcare system. Just as we are trying to influence the lifestyles and habits of the population we serve..”

The Healthier SG Programme will also offer cheaper drugs at GP clinics for chronic diseases, including other benefits. The Ministry of Health (MOH) ambitions to transition its focus from “sick care” to preventive care. 

The main motivation of these investments is to decrease the burden brought by diseases and the suffering of people and their loved ones, Minister Ong Ye Kung expressed.

Singapore’s total healthcare spending is expected to increase by three times in the next decade to $60 billion per year by 2030. The current annual budget is $22 billion. 

Once residents sign up with a family doctor under the Healthier SG Programme, the government will fully fund annual check-ups and recommend health screenings and vaccinations for residents. 

Screenings include the most common chronic conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, and Hyperlipidaemia. This will also cover cancers such as breast, cervical and colorectal.

GPs will be paid a standard yearly fee per enrolled patient. The fee will cover regular check-ups, making sure that residents under their care adhere to health plans, administrative work and annual health plan review. Subsidies for health screening and medication will be separately funded.

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