SINGAPORE’S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM BEST VALUE AND SATISFACTION, BUT FALLS BEHIND IN PROVIDING ACCESS: STUDY
The Republic’s healthcare system offers the best “value” and is the most future-proof among 16 countries surveyed, but falls behind most countries when it comes to providing access to healthcare due to shortages of hospital beds and skilled healthcare professionals.
These were the findings by Dutch multinational technology company Philips, after polling 1,500 residents and 200 healthcare professionals here. The scores were ranked against 15 other countries in the study, which also found that Singapore is at the fore of technology adoption in healthcare sector, with its extensive electronic health records system, high adoption of fitness wearables and widespread implementation of telehealth.
Scoring 74.3 in healthcare data collection and analysis – significantly higher than the 16-country average of 31.03 – Singapore is most ready to tap on solutions that will allow for an intelligent use of patient-centric data compared to the other countries, Philips found. Sweden came in second with a score of 59.43 in this aspect, owing to the application of artificial intelligence in its healthcare system.
In terms of adopting new care delivery models, the Republic is also doing better than the other countries with a score of 79.16, well ahead of second-placed Sweden (49.98) and the United States (42.03) in third place.
The report attributed Singapore’s performance to its “exceptional telehealth adoption”, which could be a reflection of recent successes in piloting and extending remote solutions in areas such as elderly care and rehabilitation.
BUT, BUT, BUT…
When it came to evaluating access to healthcare, Singapore scored 45.46 – below the study’s average of 50.91 – even as it boasts the most value-for-money system. This was attributed to shortages of hospital beds and skilled healthcare professionals.
For this study, “access” is evaluated by the number of skilled health professional density and hospital beds in relation to its population, and the percentage of people at risk of impoverishment due to surgical care.
Philips’ noted however, that Singapore should not fret over its relative low access score as it might be on the right track in thinking beyond healthcare professional density and hospital bed numbers as the main indicators of healthcare access.
Overall, Singapore’s healthcare model topped Philips’ measure of healthcare value with a score of 54.61. Australia and Germany followed behind with scores of 52.59 and 50.93 respectively. The report evaluates value by averaging each country’s healthcare access, satisfaction and efficiency scores.
Singapore topped the list as it scored highest in healthcare satisfaction at 68.27 when the 16-country average is 52.85, and in healthcare efficiency at 50.11 when the 16-country average is 26.69.
“Satisfaction” is calculated by how much residents’ and healthcare professionals’ perceive the healthcare system to be trustworthy and effective, while “efficiency” is calculated comparing the country’s healthcare outcomes with its percentage of gross domestic product spend on healthcare
Singapore – 54.61
Australia – 52.59
Germany – 50.93
France – 50.85
Saudi Arabia – 50.17
Netherlands – 48.93
Spain – 48.58
Sweden – 48.10
United Kingdom – 45.27
Italy – 41.78
Russia – 40.90
China – 38.11
United States – 37.95
India – 33.64
Brazil – 26.71
South Africa – 26.61