Singapore Study Tour

Singapore Study Tour

The Institute for Health Policy & Systems Research (IHPSR) has organized a study tour to Singapore from October 9, 2003 to October 11, 2003. A team of 9 participants joined the tour and flew off to Singapore on October 9 at 10:30a.m.

Health Promotion Board (H P B)
We visited the HPB once we landed in Singapore at 2p.m. The HPB established in 1 April 2001 and its major aims are to create a conducive environment for leading a healthy lifestyle for Singaporeans and to ensure well accessibility to health information and preventive health services in Singapore. It covers a wide range of services such as smoking control, AIDS education, breast cancer screening, nutrition program, school and workplace health services, and community health screening. In terms of marketing and communications, it establishes a health information center, a Healthzone for children, and a Healthline for any general health inquiries that people may have.

Health Sciences Authority (H S A)
The H S A is next to the HPB which aims to excel in applying science to support healthcare services and regulations. It combines the five former national agencies which include Center for Drug Evaluation, Institute of Science and Forensic Medicine, National Pharmaceutical Administration, Product Regulation Department and Singapore Blood Transfusion Service. We have visited its blood banking service, the Center for Transfusion Medicine, which is one of its proudest facilities due to the safety among the world. Dr. Diana Teo, the director of the Center, has given us a presentation on “Ensuring Standards in blood safety” and Ms. Chan Cheng Leng, the head of Pharmaceutical Administration, has presented a topic on “Keeping Watch on Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Products”.

Ministry Of Health (MOH)
We visited the MOH the next day. MOH is responsible for the public sector for the healthcare delivery system which covers the two vertically integrated delivery networks, National Healthcare Group (NHG) and SingHealth. MOH subsidizes 50% of an individual's healthcare expenditure, whereas the other 50% will be paid by the DRG (80%) and the patient himself (20%) in the form of insurance. The 3M (Medisave, MediShield, MediFund) covers only less than 10% of the total healthcare expenditure, the others come from employer benefits, government subvention, and cash from individuals. Dr. Ooi Peng Lim, deputy director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, has then given us a review on the impact of SARS.

National University Hospital (NUH)
NUH is a member of the National Healthcare Group. One of its notable initiatives is the setting up of various one-stop service centers. Women's Clinic, Urology Center, University Digestive Center and Cardiac Center are all one-stop centers. Another initiative is the setting up of the International Patient Liaison Center which helps foreign patients to have easier access to the local healthcare system. Mr. Chua Song Khim, the CEO of NUH, has given us an overview of the hospital, followed by a presentation given by Professor Phua Kai Hong who is a professor in Health Economics at the Singapore National University.

Gleneagles Hospital
We visited the Gleneagles Hospital on the third day. It is one of the three private hospitals in Singapore under the Parkway Holdings Limited. We were given an introduction of the hospital followed by a tour to its president's suite, its one-day surgery ward and its ICUs.

Raffles Hospital
Raffles Hospital is a private hospital in Singapore which aims to provide a comprehensive range of healthcare services in a five-star hotel setting. Some of its services include travel planning and visitor information (e.g. airport ticketing, accommodation), airport meeting, interpreter and secretarial services, and concierge services such as foreign exchange. It also offers different packages including thorough physical and medical examinations for people aged 18-25, aged above 40, and in their golden years. Dr. Loo Choon Yong, the executive chairman of Raffles Hospital, has given us a detailed presentation on his concepts for this hospital.

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