Category Media Commentaries/ Letters

Building a Health Promoting and Disease Preventing Ecosystem with sustainable business models

In an earlier commentary for TODAY, one of Singapore’s national newspapers, I commented that whilst the Ministry of Health’s exhortation to go ‘Beyond Healthcare to Health’ was laudable and a necessary pivot of the Singapore model, there did not exist today business models that encourage health promotion and disease prevention. Instead, as with most health […]

The challenge of going beyond healthcare to health

‘Business model innovation’ is all the craze in the commercial healthcare world, what with increasing consumerization, ‘digitalization’ and payer pricing pressures. It’s also become clear that there are fundamental differences between the ecosystems for health as opposed to healthcare. In reviewing the recent Singapore budget debates on the health sector, I felt going ‘Beyond Healthcare […]

Healthcare Productivity, Changing the Model of Care and the Role of GPs

This will be a long post and so apologies in advance. I wanted to be transparent and share the correspondence I had with the TODAY journalist who was obtaining perspectives for a ‘Big Read’ on healthcare productivity. This was published yesterday in a long piece titled “The Big Read: Beyond a jobs boost, healthcare sector […]

Rising cost, regional rivals weaken Singapore’s medical tourism appeal- Business Times 11th Nov 2015

I was recently interviewed by the Business Times for a feature story on medical tourism in Singapore.   Below are the questions and my responses: In your opinion, are there any other reasons why Singapore is losing these patients? My view is that there are 4 main reasons: 1. Unfavorable currency situation 2. High costs in […]

“Why Singapore needs foreign patients” ST 22 July 2015- Follow Up Responses

My recent commentary “Why Singapore must have foreign patients” (Straits Times 22 July 2015) created quite a stir with many lambasting the views presented or thanking me for raising issues which had been difficult in this political climate to voice publicly especially if one was in the public sector. Two issues are probably worth clarifying […]

Community Health Assist Scheme and Polyclinic Volumes

I was asked by a journalist to comment on the Singapore Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) and the impact on polyclinic consultation volumes. Below are the queries and responses. Queries: Other than providing subsidised care in the community, another purpose of CHAS is also to ease the patient load of polyclinics. However, despite the significant […]

ever Increasing Integrated (MediShield) Plan premiums

Response to media queries on rising Integrated Plans’ premiums in general and a specific query about private doctors offering ‘unnecessary treatments’ to generate more income: 1. For insurers to be financially viable, the premiums collected must be more than the claims paid out. This ‘medical loss ratio’ as it is described in the industry is […]

Rethinking what it means to be filial (TODAY April 4, 2014)

Singapore is facing an unprecedented aging transition. I think we are fully aware of the need to act decisively but I harbor some doubts about whether we are sufficiently scratching beneath the surface to get at the crux of the issues. Beyond the motherhood statements like ‘filial piety’, ‘Asian society’ and ‘aging in place’, have we […]

Obamacare and MediShield Life- TODAY 15 Nov 2013

I chaired a session on Obamacare and what implications there are for MediShield Life in NUS yesterday and later participated in a panel discussion on the topic. Must say it was pure coincidence that the Ministry of Health Singapore announced that it would reveal the names of the members appointed to the MediShield Life review […]

Why a ‘fat tax’ won’t work in Singapore- TODAY 12 Nov 2013

I’ve been pretty quiet recently and I apologize to readers. After my book “Myth or Magic: The Singapore Healthcare System” was published in September, I decided to take a short break from writing. The last 2 months have been intellectually invigorating. They were spent traveling around the region, looking at different models of care, new […]