*Affordable Excellence*

The author is William A. Haseltine, the subtitle is The Singapore Health System, and the Kindle edition is itself an…affordable excellence at $0.00.

This book is a clear first choice on the Singapore health system and everyone interested in health care economics, or Singapore, should read it.  It is short, clear, and to the point.  And anyone interested in public policy or fiscal policy must, these days, be interested in health care economics.

Singaporeans have some of the best health care outcomes in the world and yet the system consumes only four (!) percent of gdp.  Here is one short bit:

Private expenditure in Singapore amounted to around 65 percent of the total national expense (2008).  Note that this includes payments out of the government-run MediShield scheme and related insurance schemes, MediSave accounts, and other private insurance schemes or employer-provided medical benefits.  The figure for the United States is 52 percent, 17 percent for the United Kingdom, and 18 percent Japan.  Singapore’s relatively high private expenditure is a direct result of the government’s efforts to shift more of the cost burden to consumers than do most other countries.

Before you pure libertarians get too happy, however, note that public sector hospitals account for about 80% of all patient hours and there is a single payer system for catastrophic expenditures.

Definitely recommended, at this price or even the paperback for $20.00.

By the way, here are some changes they likely will be making to the Singaporean health care system, moving it closer to traditional welfare state policies (for better or worse).


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