Healthcare: A comparison between the PAP and SDP systems

Singapore Democrats

The Singapore Democrats launched our healthcare plan for Singapore last Saturday. It calls for an overhaul of the PAP’s system which is elitist, expensive and unsustainable. 

The SDP National Healthcare Plan was designed to rectify these problems, written with one objective in mind: To make healthcare in Singapore universal, affordable, and sustainable. Below are comparisons between the two systems on key indicators:

Government vs private expenditure


The total amount the country spent on healthcare in 2012 was about $12 billion. The Government’s portion was only $4 billion, or about 33 percent. The rest was paid by the people and the private sector.

This places a heavy burden on Singaporeans many of whom cannot afford medical treatment. At the end of 2011, patients owed the Government $110 million in hospital fees.


Under the SDP Plan, the Government will assume more responsibility by paying up to 70 percent of the nation’s total expenditure on healthcare. This is more in line with other developed economies whose healthcare systems are caring and people-centric.

This makes healthcare more affordable especially for those in the lower-income groups. No one will be in debt as a result of being hospitalised, as the poor and unemployed will be subsidised in full.


Attitude towards healthcare


Treats healthcare as a commodity and patients as customers. Runs hospitals like business entities based on profit.


Treats healthcare as a right for people, rich or poor, young or old. Healthcare should be provided on a needs basis, not affordability basis.




The Government takes a chunk from your CPF and puts it in your Medisave which can be used only under certain conditions.

If your family income is between $2,000-$3,000 you pay $1,680 per year into your Medisave and you can use it to pay for hospital bills.

You cannot use your Medisave for consultations at a private clinic.


The SDP Plan does away with Medisave and returns the money to your CPF Ordinary Account.

If your family income is between $2,000-$3,000, you pay $600 per year (taken from your CPF). If you are hosipitalised you pay only 10 percent of your bill, up to a maximum of $2,000.

The Government pays $10 if you visit the private GP.


Hospital wards


Maintains A, B1, B2 and C class wards. You get better treatment in the higher class wards because you can pay for it. Even waiting times for operations is reduced for those in these wards. In other words, you can cut queue if you’re rich.


Class wards will be done away with. There will only be one tier where all rooms will be 2 or 3 bedders. Treatment for all patients will be equal. Waiting times for operations will be based on medical assessment instead of ward class.


State budget


The Government spends about $11 billion on defence and $4 billion on healthcare.

It levies GST on everyone and everything (except gold) to fund its budget. Abolished estate duty and capital gains, a measure that benefits the super-rich.

Wealth disparity is one of the highest in the world.


Defence spending will be reduced to about $6 billion and healthcare spending will be increased to $10.5 billion.

GST for healthcare will be abolished. Estate duty for high-end properties and capital gains tax will be reinstated to add revenue to pay for healthcare expenditure.

Wealth disparity will reduced and society will be more egalitarian.

You can download The SDP National Healthcare Plan here. 

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