Tag Archives: MediShield


The MediShield Life Review Committee’s final report and recommendations dominated the headlines over the weekend. This was perhaps not wholly unexpected as these are the most major reforms to Singapore’s healthcare system since Medisave in the early 1980s. Various online commentators including Bertha Henson and Leong Sze Hian have offered their interpretations while the mainstream […]

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 […]

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 […]

Breathing ‘life’ into MediShield Life (Straits Times 23 Sept 2013)

Since ‘MediShield Life’ entered the public lexicon a month ago, commentators and citizens alike have raised concerns on everything from the setting of premiums to the fairness of the healthy paying for the unhealthy to mitigating the dangers of ‘abuse’. As the Ministry of Health engages in public consultation, it is worth stepping back and […]

From talking about ‘personal responsibility’ to thinking about ‘nation’

I wrote the commentary below which was published in TODAY for the following reasons: 1. Ask that Singaporeans, cynical or otherwise, recognize that whatever they may personally feel, the changes in healthcare announced are a major shift away from the previously dominant ideology. Recall that in a previous post, I had highlighted the elder Mr. […]

Are Singaporeans being set up for disappointment?

“More help for pioneer generation soon: Tharman”, “A new social compact between the people and the government will also have to be forged”… The traditional build up to the National Day Rally (scheduled this year for 18 Aug 2013) seems to be in overdrive this year. I am worried. Looking at a couple of letters […]

Pre-funded MediShield: Good Idea?

I was quoted in the newspaper ‘Today’ (See bottom of post for the article) supporting the idea of the younger Singaporean paying higher premiums so that the elderly pay less than what they would have paid had their premiums been actuarially computed. However, I also warned that while this was politically positioned as pre-funding or […]

‘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 […]

“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 […]