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Ong Ye Kung on Building a Healthier SG

38:35 Min

The Healthier SG programme is estimated to cost more than S$1 billion to set up over the next three to four years. This will cover resources such as new IT systems, ground support capabilities and one-time support for GPs. There will also be recurrent costs for support measures for residents, as well as the annual service fee for GPs. These will come up to S$400 million per year. Health Minister Ong Ye Kung gave these projections in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 4), as he delivered a White Paper that aims for "higher level of health outcomes" by counting on the whole of society to achieve "population health". He said Singapore spends about six per cent of its healthcare budget on preventive care annually. With Healthier SG, in the coming few years, Singapore will and wants to grow this, he said. Mr Ong said that in making these investments, the main and primary motivation is to reduce disease burden and the suffering of the people and their loved ones. He said Singapore cannot reverse the rise in healthcare spending but it can hope to slow down the rate of increase. Singapore's national healthcare expenditure stands at about S$22 billion a year. It expects this to almost multiply threefold to S$60 billion in 2030. Mr Ong said if this national medical bill, instead of tripling, doubles in the next 10 years, Singapore would have saved much more than what it is planning to spend on preventive care. That is why, as the pandemic dust settles, Singapore is embarking on a long term and profound reform effort anchored on preventive care, lasting relationships between residents and family doctors, as well as strong partnerships within the community. At the heart of Healthier SG is a philosophy of "how we choose to live our lives", he said. "If we put in a bit of effort every day, a bit of discipline every week, a bit of restraint every week, we can avoid big life-changing suffering later."

The Healthier SG programme is estimated to cost more than S$1 billion to set up over the next three to four years. This will cover resources such as new IT systems, ground support capabilities and one-time support for GPs. There will also be recurrent costs for support measures for residents, as well as the annual service fee for GPs. These will come up to S$400 million per year. Health Minister Ong Ye Kung gave these projections in Parliament on Tuesday (Oct 4), as he delivered a White Paper that aims for "higher level of health outcomes" by counting on the whole of society to achieve "population health". He said Singapore spends about six per cent of its healthcare budget on preventive care annually. With Healthier SG, in the coming few years, Singapore will and wants to grow this, he said. Mr Ong said that in making these investments, the main and primary motivation is to reduce disease burden and the suffering of the people and their loved ones. He said Singapore cannot reverse the rise in healthcare spending but it can hope to slow down the rate of increase. Singapore's national healthcare expenditure stands at about S$22 billion a year. It expects this to almost multiply threefold to S$60 billion in 2030. Mr Ong said if this national medical bill, instead of tripling, doubles in the next 10 years, Singapore would have saved much more than what it is planning to spend on preventive care. That is why, as the pandemic dust settles, Singapore is embarking on a long term and profound reform effort anchored on preventive care, lasting relationships between residents and family doctors, as well as strong partnerships within the community. At the heart of Healthier SG is a philosophy of "how we choose to live our lives", he said. "If we put in a bit of effort every day, a bit of discipline every week, a bit of restraint every week, we can avoid big life-changing suffering later."

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