Tag Archives: Health Systems

ASEAN Economic Community’s Impact on Healthcare Services

I am writing this in Bangkok following a very engaging session on the impact of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) on healthcare goods and services. For those who may not be familiar, the AEC is an aspiration articulated by the region’s leaders to establish “regional economic integration”. The AEC is intended to have 4 key […]

Myth of the invisible hand in Healthcare

The commentary I wrote that was published in the Straits Times today (‘Myth of the invisible hand in health care’- 14 June 2013) received some attention from readers. Why did I write the commentary? No conspiracy theories and no one put me up to it. Quite simply, I had been following the comments in the […]

What Health Policy Makers should learn

Market access for drugs and medical devices is an issue that has interested me professionally for many years. Why? Because it really ties together disparate threads of politics, economics, commercial interests, civic society and challenges some pretty fundamental positions on what it means to be a citizen of a country. I’ll be giving a talk […]

Misunderstanding European Healthcare Once Again

It is hard to be European. Despite substantial changes in healthcare financing in Europe over the last 2 decades with a shift towards larger use of cost sharing, many in Singapore still believe that European healthcare is ‘free’. The latest is a remark attributed to a minister by Channel News Asia: “… said the government […]

‘Fundamental shifts’ for a truly national MediShield

I get a sense that the Government and many in civic society have a different sense of what are ‘fundamental shifts’. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong declared ‘fundamental shifts’ in our healthcare financing design in Parliament 2 weeks ago and revealed on Sunday that the Ministry of Health was considering expanding MediShield to cover more […]

Private medicine in public hospitals- Thoughts on Low Thia Khiang’s parliamentary comments Mar 2013

The comments by MP Low Thia Khiang (Specialist Care and Hospital resource 12 Mar 2013) revisit a perennial question of the role of the public hospital in private medicine. It is a difficult issue with no fully satisfactory answers. No private medicine in public hospitals and too many doctors may leave (unless the government funds […]

‘Green Shoots’ Budget: Good start…

“More of the same”, “Quantity does not equate to quality”. These were some initial comments I received about the Ministry of Health budget speeches. These relatively uncharitable remarks do reflect disappointment, likely after expectations had been raised by earlier hints of a ‘transformative’ budget. I confess I had to read through the speeches a couple […]

Voice from the ‘Ground’

A letter received by the Straits Times following the interview that was published last Saturday. I must say I am encouraged that these are important issues impacting the lives of Singaporeans we are discussing and that open dialogue will help us as we review policies to improve healthcare for Singaporeans. I hope we can continue […]

“Transform the way Healthcare is delivered” ST 2 Mar 2013

I hope the key messages in the interview with the Straits Times came out clearly enough. To me, these are: 1. Our health system has served us pretty well these last 4 decades, but it is no longer sufficient, and it is timely a total system review is undertaken. 2. Budget 2013 was great from […]

“Spend more to keep healthcare affordable”- Today 22 Feb 2013

False dichotomies seem to pervade discussions around public policy. In demography, it is economic growth versus population constraint. In healthcare, it is reckless welfarism and compromise of other state functions versus fiscal prudence and necessary limits on health services. Yes, there will be trade-offs but we have a swathe of middle ground in between the […]