Extending Social Health Protection in Singapore: Accelerating progress towards Universal Health Coverage

Singapore has achieved excellent health outcomes for its population and one of the highest life expectancies in the world (84.9 years), while spending a modest 4 ̶ 5 per cent of GDP on health care. Singapore adopts a “mixed payer” social health protection model which is built around four central philosophies: the importance of personal motivation, targeted subsidies, a strong survival motif, and the use of market mechanisms to drive efficiency. This has resulted in a mix of several health protection instruments, including a national health care service financed by taxes and user fees, a public universal health insurance scheme for high medical costs (MediShield Life), a saving scheme structured in individual accounts (MediSave) and two public schemes to cover vulnerable households for the costs of inpatient care (MediFund) and primary care (CHAS). An additional scheme is in place for long-term care for the elderly (ElderShield).

This country brief is part of the country briefs series: Social Protection in action: building social protection floors for all.