Needs-based healthcare: An investment in Singaporeans

James Gomez

Health is not a commodity but a fundamental human need. Singapore’s healthcare system needs to re-modelled and financed holistically to achieve this policy objective.

The SDP National Healthcare Plan: Caring For All Singaporeans addresses the issue of “affordability” – a key concern for many Singaporeans, as in many other countries – about whether our citizens can afford their medical needs.

What our team of medical experts emphasize in this Plan is that healthcare is not a consumer good and that we should not base the provision of healthcare on a purely economic model.

“Quality healthcare” need not be pricy. But under the PAP, our people have been conditioned to think that good healthcare means you have to pay through your nose for it.

At the SDP, we are of the view that if financed appropriately and administered responsibly, quality healthcare can be made affordable for all Singaporeans.

To pre-empt the skeptics let me state that taxes used to avail affordable healthcare for citizens is not welfare but an investment. In fact, taxes should be viewed as a mechanism by which we pool our resources for the common good of all citizens.

If we construct our healthcare system correctly and we succeed in improving our national health, citizens will not become a burden but an important resource of society. We believe prevention is always cheaper and better than cure.

Moreover, when we calibrate our educational system to inculcate the right values of caring for one another then issues of abusing the healthcare system can also be mitigated.

SDP’s policy paper on healthcare adopts a costing model that is a holistic because it is people centred and not “reserves” centred.

In presenting this proposal we want to eliminate the PAP created situation in Singapore where our citizens have been forced to adopt the view that in Singapore we “can die but cannot fall sick”.

Dr James Gomez is head of the SDP’s Policy Unit. Read also: The future of healthcare in Singapore

The SDP National Healthcare Plan: Caring for All Singaporeans

Venue: Peninsula-Excelsior Hotel [map]
            Orchid Room, Excelsior Tower
Date:   17 March 2012, Saturday
Time:   2pm to 5pm

Admission is free, all are welcome