S'pore healthcare budget to hit 3.5% of GDP by 2030

SINGAPORE - Singapore's overall expenditure on health will double over the next five years and may reach up to 3.5 per cent of the country's GDP by 2030, up from the current 1.6 per cent, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in parliament today.

He said that this is in view of earlier announced plans to increase subsidies, expand capacity, increase salaries and invest in the training of healthcare staff, better integrate care, and step up health promotion programmes.

"We expect the rising proportion of elderly in our population to be one key factor driving this growth, given the greater need for healthcare services among the elderly and the generally longer period of care needed," he said.

However, he noted that the 2013 and 2030 projections are sensitive to factors such as economic and population growth, changing medical technology, healthcare consumption patterns, as well as changes to healthcare services delivery models.

He added that MOH's budget in the financial year of 2012 is already a 20 per cent increase from last year's expenditure.

The bulk of the $4.7 billion allocated to the ministry goes towards patient subsidies, building infrastructure and developing new services, programmes and manpower capabilities, Mr Gan said.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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