Intern's Blog: Healthcare - Fast, Cheap, Good
If you're young enough like me, you might recall learning about an aging population during Geography class in secondary school. Otherwise, you might know that people here aren't nearly replacing and reproducing enough; right now, there are only 8.5 people to support each elderly Singaporean (don't ask me how half a person can help take care of an old person).
Also, our rising standards and increasingly discerning population have caused more demand for top-notch healthcare. Meaning, more medical staff with higher and diverse capabilities are needed to pander to and care for each patient.
What does this all mean?
1. 7 000 new healthcare personnel. New scholarships for previously neglected areas such as radiology and therapy to entice locals to take up an interest in these fields and grow the industry. In lieu of trained Singaporeans however, be prepared to see more foreign faces behind the sterile face masks.
2. Healthcare costs to go up. While the government will increase subsidies and ensure that MediSave/ Shield/ Fund continue to provide enough cover for essential (read: basic) medical services, patients looking for more exclusive treatment will need to pay more than before.
Ultimately though, the aim is for patients here to receive better care at the right places at as low a price as possible from well-trained professionals. Or in the local lingo - Fast, Cheap, Good.
Sound impossible? Not according to Health Minister Khaw: "The budget is there, the political will is strong. We just need to get the bodies."
I just hope he didn't mean getting more dead ones.