SINGAPORE- More government is not always better government, and greater social spending does not automatically mean better results, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last night.
The US, for instance, spends 18 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, which is four times more than Singapore's, but has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality rates.
PM Lee also cited how the European model of welfare, with governments making up half or more of the GDP, is in "serious trouble", reported The Straits Times Online.
So even as Singapore strengthens social safety nets, the ultimate test of success is not how much the Government does or spends, but the programmes' outcomes, he said at a dinner to mark the St Andrew's Mission Hospital-Singapore Anglican Community Services' centenary.
Everyone, from voluntary welfare organisations to community groups and the Government, must understand the Singapore context and adapt their programmes, said PM Lee, who paid tribute to the community groups' good work.
Community partners like the hospital and Anglican community services play important roles in complementing government efforts to help the less fortunate, he said.
Their strength: The warmth and personal touch, which can never be replaced by government schemes, however well thought-out they are.
Such groups can use personal and community ties to reach out to the needy and can meet the requirements of individuals and families better than national programmes, he said.
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