The Singapore Healthcare facilities is touted as one of the world’s best in the world. However, what is the point when Singaporeans are priced out of access to these facilities because we have to pay part of the medical bill in cash? It has been my suspicion that the Singapore Healthcare system is fully self-funded by Medisave Account Holders, and that the Singapore Government do not even have to pay a single cent for healthcare subsidies.

Infographic from People's Action Party website
Infographic from People’s Action Party website

A simple search up the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) website ascertained my belief:

$64.9b in Total Medisave Balance

According to the MOH web site – Total Medisave Balance was $54.5, $60.0 and $64.9 billion, in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Govt Health Expenditure less than increase in Total Medisave Balances?

Since Government Health Expenditure (operating and development) was $4.8 and $5.9 billion, in FY12 and FY13, respectively – does it mean that from a cashflow perspective – there was hardly any Government spending at all?

For example, the increase of $5.5 billion in Total Medisave Balances from 2011 to 2012, was actually more than the the Government Health Expenditure of $4.8 billion in FY12.

Annual Medisave contributions exceed total Medisave withdrawals + Govt Health Expenditure?

Also, since Medisave contributions in excess of the Medisave Contribution Ceiling (renamed to Basic Healthcare Sum this year) were transferred to the Special Account – and not reflected in the Total Medisave Balances – the excess of Medisave contributions annually against total Medisave withdrawals for medical expenses and premiums plus Government Health Expenditure, may actually have been even higher.

Making money from healthcare?

And of course, the Government has been keeping the difference between the annualised returns derived from our Medisave funds and the interest rate paid on the Medisave account.

Moreover, as healthcare costs and premiums continue to rise way above general inflation – the higher interest paid on the Medisave account may in a sense, be eventually consumed in the future.

As an analogy – what’s the point of giving you a higher interest rate when I can keep increasing the costs that you have to pay every year into the future?

Only 1.2% of Medisave have been withdrawn?

Don’t you find it rather strange that despite more treatments and higher amounts that you can use your Medisave for – the ratio of the Amount Withdrawn For Direct Medical Expenses to Total Medisave Balances, decreased from 1.3 to 1.2 per cent, from 2011 to 2013?

For example, only $799 million was withdrawn to pay for medical expenses from the $64.9 billion Total Medisave Balances in 2013.

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