Links: Singapore’s Healthcare System

Canada is a more socialist country when it comes to healthcare. Healthcare is delegated based on need, and it’s an amazing experience as a physician to be able to order MRI after MRI without thinking, “This is going to bankrupt this farmer chap by itself without taking into consideration the brain tumour operation and his rehab!”

Of course, nothing comes free. This system comes at the cost of high personal taxes (friends of J. say it’s >40% and drawing close to 50%) and the occasional long waiting list for elective operations (for one famous London neurosurgeon’s list it’s a 2-year wait for deep-brain stimulation [for Parkinson’s disease or essential tremour]).

They concluded, “It’s an awesome system if you get a serious disease requiring expensive treatment. It’s not such a great system when you’re well.”

In comparison, Singapore’s healthcare system is based on a co-pay system and there’s been huge cost-cutting measures taken. Very efficient engineering, characteristic of Singapore. Singapore has far lower personal taxes and is one of the things that keeps the nation, which is low on natural resources, competitive. Nonetheless, some people think that the cost-cutting measures have gone a bit too far, and recent letters to the newspapers demonstrate a remarkable lack of understanding of healthcare.

Many Singaporeans conclude, “It’s a great system if you’re healthy. You’re broke if you get a serious chronic disease.”

Fortunately for the ignorant, Leong Sze Hian has a nice 3-part series analysing portions of the Singapore healthcare system. It makes one think. Definitely worth a read.

1. Singapore’s healthcare system – uniquely Singapore? F1 or F9? (Part 1)
2. Singapore’s healthcare system – uniquely Singapore? F1 or F9? (Part 2)
3. Singapore’s healthcare system – uniquely Singapore? F1 or F9? (Part 3)

Interesting stuff, especially with applied critical thinking.

The 40+% taxes refers to the province of Québec, which has the highest tax rate in Canada. In Ontario, which is the province Toronto is in, the tax rate is more about 30%.


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