Currently, one can see that Singapore has a world-class, widespread, and efficient system of healthcare facilities. In 2000, WHO ranked the nations in terms of their healthcare systems. This ranking was given in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, all recent parameters were considered. It is the reason why finding a medical clinic in Singapore is like a cakewalk.

There have been several recent developments in the healthcare system of Singapore. However, it is fundamental to know about how it all started.

Singapore’s healthcare system in the colonial years 

The first doctor in Singapore arrived from Britain in 1819. He was Dr. Stamford Raffles, a British statesman. He arrived there because Britain’s East India Company signed a treaty to establish a trading post in Singapore. Thomas Prendergast, a sub-assistant surgeon, accompanied Dr. Stamford. He was a military doctor and in charge of Singapore’s first general hospital in Penang.

Since Dr. Raffles had to maintain Singapore as a free port, the hospital was always low on funds. Diseases like cholera and smallpox were common. The hospital infrastructure was in bad shape when it was supposed to be for the elite class.

Healthcare facilities providers in Singapore 

Hospitals and medical clinic fall broadly under two categories – public and private. However, all hospitals are government corporations and often show healthy competition in terms of innovation.

The two sectors in Singapore’s healthcare system are statutory boards and institutions. The former includes the Dental Council, Medical Council, Pharmacy Council, Nursing Board, and the Optometrists & Opticians, Board. The latter is composed of hospitals and medical clinics (both private and public).

The Public Health System 

These are government corporations that fall under any of the following three categories.

  1. National Healthcare Group
  2. National University Health System
  3. SingHealth

As per a close approximation, 70-80% of the citizens of Singapore opt for public healthcare facilities. It is because of the trust they have in the system. The government of Singapore understands this and invests the most in the healthcare system after the defense and education sectors.

The Private Health System 

In recent years, the private sector has been expanding because it is insured privately with regular foreign and wealthy public patients. This system runs on General Practitioners and private hospitals with aid from Integrated Shield Plans and private insurance.

The healthcare system of Singapore is an excellent example for the rest of the countries. It is because it has risen from no funding to be one of the best in the world.