Photo of London Royal Hospital by Tupungato/

UK’s spending of public healthcare as percentage of GDP is 4 times of Singapore’s?

Why is Singapore’s public healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP so low?

I refer to the article “May to unveil £20bn a year boost to NHS spending” (The Guardian, Jun 16).

It states that UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be announcing the biggest fund boost since 2002 by asking Taxpayers in United Kingdom to help fund a £20bn a year injection of extra cash into the National Health Service by 2023-24 that will pay for thousands more doctors and nurses, while cutting cancer deaths and improving mental health services.

The article goes on to state, “May’s announcement follows months of intense debate at the top of government about how to prepare the NHS for the challenges of an ageing population and the rising costs of care and drugs, which have taken NHS finances to breaking point. NHS England will be asked to come up with a 10-year plan laying out how it will use the extra money to provide more doctors and nurses and improve all key services.”

The UK government is reported to have said that a key aim for increasing the fundings was to improve cancer survival rates, improve mental health care, and expand the number of doctors and nurses in areas of most demand. They added that the plans would also involve a fresh assault on waste and inefficiency within the NHS.

In this connection, it was reported in the Singapore media this year that Singapore’s current public healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP is 2.2 per cent – in comparison, United Kingdom’s was 9.8 per cent in 2016 – does it mean that the UK’s is about 4.45 times that of Singapore’s?

Also, does it mean that from a cashflow perspective – we may not be spending any money on healthcare, as the inflows exceed the outflows every year (premiums of mandatory MediShield exceeding claims), and that the government is simply passing the burden of healthcare onto the people themselves?

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