Description of the Healthcare System
Singapore’s healthcare system is touted as one of the best in the world and held as an example of excellence. The country does not have universal coverage, although the system ensures that almost everybody has access to high-quality healthcare services. The country has a policy where households with the lowest income levels pay approximately 10% of the taxes but receive about 25% of the benefits. In contrast, the highest earners pay about 50% of taxes and receive approximately 12% of the benefits (Carroll, 2019). Healthcare services offered in the country include both public and private. Concisely, poor people usually get healthcare services from government providers, while rich people consult private caregivers.
The system setup involves government funding the largest percentage of healthcare costs. In this regard, the government is responsible for ensuring that all Singaporeans have access to quality healthcare regardless of their income levels. Besides, the government is also responsible for ensuring that foreigners working in the country. Since most of the foreigners have low paying jobs, the government has implemented a policy that provides them with some protection. Succinctly, the healthcare services that foreigners receive is considered better when compared to their home countries. All citizens are eligible to access medical care in public hospitals. However, there is a significant discrepancy between the quality of care provided in public and private hospitals (Jun Jie et al., 2019). Nonetheless, the healthcare system is better when compared to other countries, especially in developed countries.
Nurses and advanced practice nurses play a crucial role in the healthcare system. They are responsible for ensuring that the patients are provided with the ideal services. Nurses are also instrumental in the delivery of healthcare services. The healthcare is based on preventative care model. On this note, the government invests a lot in the education of the citizens about the ideal lifestyles that will enhance their health outlook. Accordingly, a small percent of Singaporeans smoke, consume alcohol, and abuse drugs (Carroll, 2019). Obesity rates are minimal, which means that the population is healthier than in most developed countries. The healthcare system of Singapore is efficient concerning the quality, prevention, and delivery of medical care services.
Costs of Healthcare System
The healthcare system is paid through private and government spending. The rich people in the country prefer to use their funds to access healthcare services. On the other hand, poor people can access medical care from government-funded institutions. The individual’s responsibility is ensuring that they can access healthcare when needed. Poor people use government-funded, although there are instances when they have to pay out of pocket for some services such as specialized care and medication. The government is responsible for ensuring that all people can access medical care despite their economic status. However, there is an insurance program that allows people to access health. Likewise, people who do not have insurance can access healthcare from government hospitals, although the quality may be lower than that of the private institutions. The Singaporean healthcare system is a combination of both private and public systems (IsrealAkingba, Kaliappan, & Hamzah, 2018). However, the coverage for the entire population is provided by the government through funds derived from domestic taxes.
Outcomes of the Healthcare System
A notable outcome is that most of the people are healthy owing to government programs that underline the need for healthy lifestyles. Precisely, the government is responsible for hiring social workers and public health experts to educate the program. Singapore is one of the healthiest nations because of its education programs. However, some people feel that the government is not committed to the provision of high-quality healthcare. Accordingly, most people opt for private institutions that are deemed to provide the ideal medical care. One of the factors that have led to this outcome is that most of the Singaporeans are above the poverty line. Thus, one of the strengths is that all people can access healthcare services when needed. The quality of healthcare and the delivery system meet international standards. Nonetheless, the country’s citizens opt to use private providers because of quality issues (Nurjono et al., 2019). The residents of Singapore are content with the system because even though they favor the private sector, most of them are capable of financing their medical needs through non-public hospitals and specialists.
Comparison with the U.S. Healthcare System
The primary difference between the Singaporean and United States healthcare systems is accessibility. In the United States, most people cannot access healthcare services because of poverty. Hospitals only provide emergency services for uninsured or poor people who cannot afford to pay cash for the services. In contrast, the Singaporean systems allow that everybody is eligible for medical care regardless of their financial status. However, the United States has the advantage that the quality of care is high. Furthermore, the hospitals are equipped with the latest technologies that augment the quality and delivery of the services. However, the commercialization of healthcare in the United States has led to a situation where most people cannot access this vital service. The positive aspect of the Singaporean system is that all people can access healthcare, including foreigners (Barson et al., 2018). Nevertheless, the government provided healthcare is considered to be of poor quality when compared to the private providers. Regardless of the shortcomings of Singapore’s health system, it is better than the United States primarily because of the accessibility and quality of delivery.
Carroll, A. E. (2019). What can the U.S. health system learn from Singapore? Americans argue over insurance while Singaporeans keep perfecting the delivery of care. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/22/upshot/singapore-health-system-lessons.html.
Barson, S., Gauld, R., Gray, J., Henriks, G., Krause, C., Lachman, P., . . . Villa, L. (2018). What initiatives do healthcare leaders agree are needed for healthcare system improvement? Results of a modified-Delphi study. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 32(8), 1002-1012. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-08-2017-0216
IsrealAkingba, I. O., Kaliappan, S. R., & Hamzah, H. Z. (2018). Impact of health capital on economic growth in Singapore: An ARDL approach to cointegration. International Journal of Social Economics, 45(2), 340-356. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-12-2016-0376
Jun Jie, B. S., Lim, V. Z. K., Yu, H. K., Thumboo, J., & LOW, L. L. (2019). Outpatient primary and tertiary healthcare utilization among public rental housing residents in Singapore. BMC Health Services Research, 19 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4047-8
Nurjono, M., Shrestha, P., Ang, I. Y. H., Shiraz, F., Joanne Su-Yin Yoong, Sue-Anne Ee, S. T., & Hubertus Johannes, M. V. (2019). Implementation fidelity of a strategy to integrate service delivery: Learnings from a transitional care program for individuals with complex needs in Singapore. BMC Health Services Research, 19 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-3980-x
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