Prof Tambyah to represent SDP at healthcare forum

November 18, 2013
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

Professor Paul Tambyah will present the SDP’s healthcare proposals at an upcoming forum organised by The Online Citizen to discuss healthcare in Singapore. Other opposition parties have also been invited to participate in the event.$CUT$

The SDP has published our National Healthcare Plan: Caring For All Singaporeans where we put forth ideas to replace the 3M system (Medisave, Medishield, Medifund) with a single-payer system.

Written by a team of medical doctors in the SDP’s Healthcare Advisory Panel, the crux of our plan is that healthcare in Singapore must be made universal, that is, that every Singaporean is entitled to quality medical care regardless of one’s financial state.

The current system makes individuals pay for the main bulk of healthcare expenses, allowing the Government to pay less than its fair share. A little known fact is that Singapore has the highest out-of-pocket healthcare expenses in East Asia.

This is because the PAP Government pays only 30 percent of the country’s total healthcare expenditure whereas government expenditure in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan is around 70 percent.

A specialist in infectious diseases who was promoted to full professor earlier this year, Tambyah came into prominence when he spoke at the SDP lunchtime rally in the 2011 general elections.

The SDP plan proposes that the 3M system be scrapped and replaced by the National Health Investment Fund where Singaporeans pay a much reduced amount (through their CPF) according to their income levels. The Government will make up the remainder of the budget required for our annual healthcare expenditure, currently at around $12 billion. 

The NHIF will then pay 90 percent of our hospital bills. Patients will pay 10 percent up to $2,000 (per year) of the expenses.

Such an approach will significantly lower healthcare costs for Singaporeans and make our healthcare system universal and affordable for all Singaporeans.   

The SDP’s plan is gaining traction in the establishment. Prof Tambyah recently spoke at forum organised by the TembusuCollege, National University of Singapore, and chaired by Prof Tommy Koh together with other healthcare financing experts.

Read: Paul Tambyah speaks in healthcare forum

The Singapore Medical Association also published an article written by Prof Tambyah and Dr Tan Lip Hong, another member of our Healthcare Advisory Panel, in its September 2013 issue.

Read: SDP’s healthcare plan makes it into SMA news

The SDP will campaign on our healthcare plan at the next general elections.

The Online Citizen forum will be held on 30 November 2013 at 3pm at Hotel Rendezvous.