Singapore’s Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has deliberately issued a fake news with malicious intent to mislead Singaporeans into believing that healthcare costs has gone up by as much as “S$3 billion in 2020”. Although the Minister did not specify a breakdown, he assumed CPF Medisave and MediShield Life money as government’s money to achieve the inflated amount.
Healthcare costs are mostly funded by Singaporeans’ CPF Medisave, and the S$3 billion projected cost includes CPF Medisave which are essentially individual’s salaries. MediShield Life is a national insurance fund pooled by MediSave, and this is not government’s funding either.
The only government funding is MediFund, which was reported as only S$11.3 million in the latest report.
In a press release yesterday, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat used the ageing population as a bogeyman to justify tax increase:
“Singapore may have to foot a bigger health bill to care for its ageing population. Government expenditure on healthcare is expected to rise quite sharply in the next three to five years. As medical technology improves, as our population ages, the demands will grow, and the need to provide for that will also grow. I predict an annual MOH budget of at least $13 billion from 2020.”
The Finance Minister apparently plucked the number from thin air and there is no annual reports from the Health Ministry to support his claims. According to it’s website, the Health Ministry stopped publishing annual reports in 2006, and no explanation is given.
The effects of ageing population is also inflated because, like Medisave, Singapore’s retirement funding is paid for by Singaporeans’ CPF Retirement Account, and not a single cent is government’s expenditure.