Is our healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP about 8%?

I refer to the article “Singapore Budget 2018: Spending needs to grow in healthcare, infrastructure, security and education” (Business Times, Feb 18).

It states that “All in all, we expect our average annual healthcare spending to rise from 2.2 per cent of GDP today to almost 3 per cent of GDP over the next decade. This is an increase of nearly 0.8-percentage point of GDP, or about S$3.6 billion in today’s dollars. Within the next decade, healthcare spending is expected to overtake education.”

Since I understand that Singapore”s public healthcare spending is about a third of total healthcare spending – does it mean that total healthcare spending may be about 6.6% (2.2% x 3) of GDP?

Since annual Medisave contributions are I understand more than $10 billion – and it is in a sense like an implicit tax or akin to a pre-paid health insurance contribution – does it mean that total healthcare spending, from a cashflow perspective, may be about 8%?

In contrast, the United Kingdom’s healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP is about 7.4% in 2017, and the share of public healthcare spending is about 83.2%, compared to about a third in Singapore.


Leong Sze Hian



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One Response to “Is our healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP about 8%?”

  • HarderTruths:

    I believe it is much much less – coming to the level of third world budgets. It is there because it can be there without anyone getting into trouble.

    There is nothing close to developed in our heatlhcare system.
    It is a factory – in-out-in-out for patching up until something breaks and cannot be fixed.

    Then sorry you pay more until you cannot pay. waiting 4 -5 hours to see the doctor for 5 minutes and they not really knowing what is wrong with you just try-and-see-and-hope-for-the-best approach.

    And for the more serious cases? Dead men tell no tales.

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