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Singapore Budget 2008
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Ministry of Health (MOH)


MOH’s mission is to be an innovative and people-centred organisation that

  • Promotes good health and reduces illness,
  • Ensures that Singaporeans have access to good and affordable healthcare that is appropriate to needs, and
  • Promotes the pursuit of medical excellence.

A total budget of $2,633 million has been allocated to MOH in FY2008 to achieve this mission.

Outcomes of Ministry

MOH has identified specific desired health outcomes in line with our mission:

  • Singaporeans who enjoy good health
  • Low incidence of illness, disability and death resulting from major communicable and chronic disease
  • Low infant and maternal mortality
  • Good healthcare services for the elderly
  • Cost effective and affordable healthcare
  • High quality of healthcare professionals and institutions

Description of Outcomes

Promoting Good Health and Reducing Illness

MOH focuses on health promotion, education and disease prevention in order to build a nation of healthy Singaporeans.

Health Promotion and Education

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) is the main driver for national health promotion and disease prevention programmes. For FY2008, $93 million is set aside for health education and promotion initiatives under HPB for the following programmes:

  • Physical Activity (formerly National Healthy Lifestyle Programme)
  • Workplace Health Promotion Programme
  • School Health Programme
  • Childhood Injury Prevention Programme
  • BreastScreen Singapore
  • AIDs Education Programme
  • Osteoporosis Education Programme

Beyond physical health, MOH and HPB have also embarked on a joint effort with other ministries to promote mental wellbeing and emotional resilience among Singaporeans, under the Mental Wellness Promotion Programme. The initiatives include the “Treasure Your Mind” programme which aims to promote mental well-being in the workplaces and the school-based mental well-being programme to help students accomplish skills in developing self-esteem, coping with stress and handling emotions.

Workplace Health Promotion Programme

Disease Prevention and Tackling Major Communicable Diseases

To guard against the threat of outbreaks of infectious diseases, MOH has set aside $28 million in FY2008 to invest in building national public health laboratory, maintain our capability to not only respond swiftly to emergency health situations such as influenza pandemic, bioterrorism and mass casualty events but also tackle communicable diseases in our local population such as HIV/AIDs and sexually transmitted diseases.

Ensuring Access through Good and Affordable Healthcare

MOH is committed to ensuring that Singaporeans have access to good and affordable healthcare that is appropriate to their needs. This is achieved through the following:

Government Subsidies for Good, Basic Healthcare

A total of $1,612 million is set aside as subsidies for Singaporeans seeking medical care at the polyclinics, public hospitals, healthcare institutions and voluntary welfare organisations such as the nursing homes, community hospitals, day rehabilitation centres for the elderly and hospices.

Strengthen National Healthcare Financing

Healthcare in Singapore is a shared responsibility between the individual and society. MOH will continue to strengthen the 3Ms (Medisave, Medishield and Medifund) framework to ensure Singaporeans have access to the healthcare system.

  • The 3Ms - Medisave, MediShield and Medifund

    Medisave and MediShield encourage Singaporeans to take responsibility for their own healthcare needs through savings and co-payments, while Medifund helps poor and indigent patients who cannot pay for their medical expenses despite government subsidies, Medisave and MediShield.

    Since 2007, all newborn Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PR) are being offered Medishield coverage. MOH will be facilitating coverage for Singapore and PR youths in 2008. Through enhancements and extension of Medisave such as increasing Medisave withdrawal limits for inpatient and day surgery initiatives and extending the usage of Medisave to cover MRI and CT scans, MOH aims to ensure greater affordability of hospital bills
  • ElderShield and Interim Disability Assistance Programme (IDAPE) schemes

    ElderShield is a severe disability insurance scheme that helps elderly Singaporeans defray out-of-pocket expenses in the event of severe disabilities requiring long-term care. Eldershield Reform 2007 has allowed the benefits to be enhanced to meet increasing and varied needs of Singaporeans. For Singaporeans who want and are able to afford for better coverage, they can opt for Eldershield Supplements while ensuring the basic Eldershield remains affordable to Singaporeans.

    For Singaporeans who are not eligible to join ElderShield due to age limit or pre-existing disabilities, the Interim Disability Assistance Programme, or IDAPE, provides the desired medical coverage for the long-term care required. A total of $19 million is set aside to help the elderly pay for their ElderShield premiums and as subsidy payouts for Singaporeans under IDAPE.

Investing in Healthcare Manpower and Infrastructure Capacity

To meet expanding and evolving healthcare needs of Singaporeans, we must increase our manpower and infrastructure capacity for healthcare.

  • $201 million is set aside to ensure right-numbering (adequate staffing), right-pricing (for recruitment and retention) and right-skilling (to plug skills gaps and develop capabilities) of our healthcare workforce.
  • MOH will also continue to invest in healthcare infrastructure along key points in the spectrum of care – from primary care to hospitals to community hospitals. The ministry’s plans are on track for various infrastructure projects:
    Establishing new general hospitals (e.g. the new Khoo Teck Puat Hospital);
    Developing new teaching and research facilities;
    Expanding and maintaining primary and step-down care facilities (e.g. renovation of Woodlands Polyclinic).

Managing Patients Holistically through Long-Term and Integrated Care

MOH aims to strengthen our healthcare system by promoting personal responsibility and improving the integration between providers across the healthcare. To ensure that patients are treated at the right level of care, MOH will:

  • Re-emphasise the important role of the primary care sector by growing the role of general practitioners (GPs) in managing chronic disease conditions.
  • Continue engaging in regular communication with GPs (e.g. through the GP Forum) and introduce systems to better support right-siting of patients with GPs (e.g. nurse educators to help GPs provide patient education in the community).
  • Strengthen linkages with step-down care providers to provide more seamless intermediate and long term care for our ageing population.

Strategy 3 - Pursuing Medical Excellence

The pursuit of medical excellence is integral towards ensuring that our national healthcare system keeps pace with global medical advancements. MOH will drive clinical quality improvements by:

Investing in Knowledge-Driven Healthcare Research and Development

To keep up with advances in biomedical science and develop new clinical treatments for Singaporean, MOH, in partnership with A*STAR, MOE, the National Research Foundation and the National Medical Research Council, will invest $60 million in clinical and translational research. On top of this, $15 million is set aside via the Health Services Development Programme to develop new clinical services. These funds augment existing funding for new medical capability development in our public healthcare system. Clinical research and knowledge-driven care will help develop new standards in medical excellence and raise the quality of medical care for Singaporeans.

Courtesy of A*Star

Investing in National Specialty Centres

Patient load for tertiary care services is expanding and will continue to expand as our population ages. To meet rising demands, MOH will evolve the current Cancer Institute and Heart Institute at NUH to take on more tertiary cases, conduct more research and improve the standards of care. These expanded specialty centres will also integrate clinical service, education, and research between NUH and the NUS School of Medicine.

To find out more about the MOH and our initiatives,  please feel free to visit our website.

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