Why the costs of Healthcare in Singapore cannot drop

The Problem : Healthcare costs in Singapore is ever rising and cannot drop

The Present : Doctors prescribe medications and get a commission from drug companies so there is no incentive to improve or recommend new technology unless it increases his bottom line. What is the difference between Tampines Polyclinic and NUH? The prices of healthcare is cheaper at Tampines Polyclinic but the expertise of the doctor and the medical equipments cannot be compared to NUH. If I see a doctor at NUH and I want to buy the same medication at Tampines Polyclinic, can it be done? No, the government gives a subsidy based on where you go and they will not just sell you the medication, and that is why the high profits are already fixed like a cartel/monopoly by the government. This is not healthy as the savings are not passed on back to the consumer. Small clinics will face the most pressure as they need to stock up on medication which narrows their capital and cannot get economies of scale.

The Solution : Separate the business of healthcare by hospitals and clinics between giving advice and dispensing of medication. Common drugs will drop in price as more supply is introduced and drug companies can make more money from introducing the latest drugs to combat diseases, this in turn will also force doctors to upgrade themselves so they will get even higher income than those who do not. Even drug companies need economies of scale and those who can match demand and supply will enjoy the greatest profits. Existing hospitals with dispensaries can outsource to private with the requirements that they must provide the best medication with the lowest possible price, where the consumer can have the option to chose, this will drive old medication drugs down and economies of scale will also force common drugs to drop in price.  

PS : I am not going to buy my diabetes medication from NUH because it is too expensive, but since Tampines Polyclinic do not want to sell to me, I am going without medication forever and use excessive water and a strict diet to control my sugar level, I know the effects is not serious in the short term, but can be very serious in the long term, and I am going to play with both. People with diabetes can now visit general practitioners in private clinics, and even optical shops, to get tested for diabetic eye problems. Such eye tests typically cost $6.50 at polyclinics and $70 or more at specialist eye centres. Wah lau, so expensive at hospital, I am going to get it done at the polyclinic.
– Contributed by Oogle.

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