#NHS Singapore has a cheaper Health Service but not because it charges, as this piece purports.

I downloaded this from my Fullermoney  investor’s newssheet. It’s content is interesting but it’s the slanted view of the writer that took my attention, because my view is slanted differently. The final paragraph sums up the view of the witer, rather than the content.

Remove all the text in BOLD to get the original piece

Healthcare is the biggest long-term policy issue facing governments worldwide.

(G8 in 1980’s, agreed to privatisation of Health and Education, that’s why it’s worldwide)

It’s immensely expensive, and getting costlier. People demand much more of it, and of higher quality, but expect others to pick up most of the cost. Because of the scale of the industry (not a service, then?) and the numbers of workers required, it’s a managerial nightmare.

(Translation: The poor expect to be cosseted at my expense, instead of just shuffling off and dying quietly)

No country seems to have come up with a credible approach to dealing with this growing problem… except perhaps one.

Singapore’s amazing success is conveyed by this metric: It spends less than 4 per cent of its GDP (annual economic output) on healthcare compared to almost 18 per cent in the US, yet its system is ranked by the World Health Organization as the sixth best in the world (Britain’s is ranked 18th, America’s 37th ).

  GDP $B pop. GDP ($)per capita
singapore 274.7 5,310,000 51733
usa 15684.8 316,345,000 49581
uk 2431.6 63,181,775 38486

I’ve inserted this little spreadsheet to show up the implied lie. As can be seen Singapore is spending considerably more on health in term of GDP per person, The writer was not comparing Like with Like

The life expectancy of Singaporeans is now two to three years longer than the citizens of the US or the UK.  Its newborn mortality rate is less than one per thousand live births (it’s four in the US and Canada ). Its survival rates from cancer and cardiovascular disease treatment are among the world’s best. And almost 80 per cent of patients treated at hospitals and clinics are so satisfied they would recommend them to others.

(OK. Agreed. This is what we should strive to emulate in terms of outcome; doesn’t mean we have to travel the road about to be laid down)

All this at remarkably low expense. Singapore is world leader at keeping costs under control. When last surveyed in 2008, public spending on healthcare was about $600 a year per person, compared to $3,500 in the US, $2,600 in the UK, $2,300 in Japan, with healthcare accounting for about 8 per cent of total government expenditure.

Many parts Of US don’t offer any health care for the unemployed, so their figure seems way too high. Maybe their hospitals charge more to cover lawsuits etc. Not comparing like with like

How has this been achieved, and what lessons can be drawn by policymakers of other countries? William Heseltine, a medical academic, explains (proposes?) in considerable detail in a new book*.

The key is a system that expects and to some extent forces individuals to accept responsibility for the expense of healthcare for themselves and their families, restraining costs and encouraging them to follow healthy lifestyles.

This is backed up by government measures to prevent exploitation by the private sector in supply of medical services

I propose that this is the KEY to the low costs. bearing in mind how many of our politicians have a personal interest in maintaining high prices.

support for the weakest members of society, and well-co-ordinated long-term state planning for expanding and improving the system

UK Govt is dismantling NHS as part of privatisation plans., so not planning for a co-ordinated service but a fragmentation to enable transaction charging.

Finally his intended conclusion is, by circular logic:

The fundamental approach is that “a welfare system, or an entitlement mentality, has no place in Singapore”. The focus is on “individual responsibility and self-reliance on the part of the citizenry in all personal matters, including healthcare.”

 

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