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Shift to capitation enables better care for patients

We thank Dr Gerard Chee Hsien for his support for the shift towards proactive preventive care (Healthcare set to get better, but for whom?, April 25).

As part of the stronger focus on preventive care, we are changing the basis of calculating the budgets of healthcare clusters to capitation. This is a common method used around the world.

Capitation funding will not result in a decrease in the budgets of our public healthcare clusters and institutions. In fact, their budgets will increase with an ageing population, but at a slower rate than in past projections, due to preventive care efforts.

The shift to capitation funding must therefore be understood with complementary efforts to strengthen the primary care system, to better manage chronic illness and improve preventive care.

Singapore’s healthcare system exists to serve our residents, not to benefit medical insurance providers, private clinicians or the Government.

We should also be cautious not to equate bigger budgets and higher bill sizes with better healthcare. A sustainable healthcare system that is able to look after the long-term health of our residents will ultimately benefit all Singaporeans.

Teh Shi-Hua
Director, Subsidy and Subvention
Ministry of Health

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