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20 Nov 2018

19th Nov 2018

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Question No. 2375

To ask the Minister for Health what are the causes of healthcare inflation which has seen double digit growth over the past 10 years, far outstripping normal inflation.

Written Reply

1   National Health Expenditure, or NHE, is commonly used to track healthcare spending.  Between 2006 to 2016, our NHE increased at an average rate of 11% per year.  In addition to healthcare inflation, the increased expenditure includes several factors, such as our ageing population, higher utilisation of healthcare services and capital expenditure on the building of more public healthcare facilities in recent years.  The NHE figure for 2017 is not yet available.  

2   Over the same period, the Government has provided more support for healthcare.  These include the Pioneer Generation Package, MediShield Life premium subsidies and the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).  Between 2006 to 2016, the Government’s expenditure on healthcare increased significantly faster by 17% and consequently, the Government’s share of NHE increased from about 30% to more than 40%.

3   As a result of increased government subsidies, while the growth in our NHE has been high, healthcare inflation, defined as the growth in prices of healthcare goods and services borne by Singaporeans, has been lower.  Between 2007 and 2017, Singapore’s average annual healthcare inflation was 2.6% compared to 2.3% for all goods and services.  

4   We will continue to monitor healthcare inflation closely and keep healthcare affordable for all Singaporeans. 

Category: Parliamentary QA