Singapore is highly regarded for many things. For instance, it’s gaining prominence as the premier tech hub of Asia. Its education system is robust and can easily compete with other countries, producing students who have become star players in Fortune 500 companies. It’s also quite known for its rich diversity. As a melting pot of different Asian ethnicities, the city-state is blessed with a diverse culture, making it an exciting place for tourists and residents alike. But there’s also one thing that Singapore is greatly known for. And that is health.
The healthcare system has been discussed by news giants in the United States, such as The New York Times and Fox News. The overall health of Singaporeans has also been highly regarded by the likes of Bloomberg. To help us understand the state of health in Singapore today, these are some interesting facts.
World-renowned Healthcare System
As mentioned in the introduction, the healthcare system of Singapore is something that has been widely talked about overseas. It’s administered by the Ministry of Health (MOH). When it comes to the people’s total health costs, the state only covers about one-fourth of them.
But even if this is the case, the healthcare system remains a robust and effective one. And it’s because, although the healthcare system is designed to ensure that Singaporeans or their employers (through medical benefits) would shoulder the majority of the costs of treatment and medication, the MOH makes sure that the costs would remain low, especially in public health institutions.
Apart from that, healthcare institutions, public or private, are mostly top-notch. Singapore is a very industrialized country that can easily compete with wealthy Western countries. So it’s no surprise that they have high-quality tools and equipment for competent doctors. This is why, if we find ourselves in a bind and need a urologist, we have the best urology clinic within reach. If we require a cardiologist to treat our heart problems, we can easily reach out to the best cardiologists around.
Among the Top Ten Healthiest Countries
Every year, Bloomberg publishes the Bloomberg Global Health Index, a list of the world’s healthiest countries. The list considers many things such as health risks (smoking, heart problems, obesity, etc.), access to clean water, life expectancy, malnutrition, and rates of various causes of death. In 2021, Singapore has ranked as the eighth healthiest country globally, with a health grade of 89.29.
Some might say that this isn’t a good thing because Singapore had a higher ranking in the previous years (even reaching fourth place in 2017). But being part of the top ten is still incredibly important. It’s a testament to how the healthcare system has taken care of the residents as they also take care of themselves.
Perceptions About Oral Health
At this point, it’s clear that Singaporeans take good care of their health. Otherwise, the country wouldn’t maintain a spot in the top ten healthiest countries in the world. To really understand how the residents take their health seriously, we can look at how they perceive oral health. Because oral health is just a small part of our bodies, many people don’t often regard it as a serious health matter. But, for Singaporeans, that’s not true at all.
According to a 2020 study conducted by Philips Singapore, a whopping 88 percent of Singaporeans believe that oral health is an important indicator of an individual’s overall health. And because so many of them think so, they are also more likely to pay visits to the dentist for just a routine checkup — which is something that a lot of people in other countries don’t even bother doing.
Because the world is still in the middle of a health crisis, it’s crucial to tackle COVID-19 when we talk about health in Singapore. During the height of the pandemic in the middle of 2020, many countries were hit with unprecedented challenges and struggled to keep up with the surge of COVID-19 cases. Singapore was no exception to this. But, unlike many other countries, Singapore was able to combat the coronavirus more successfully and bounce back quicker than others.
The government took action quickly by banning travel, being meticulous about contact tracing, ensuring that hospitals are well-equipped and that the public is always properly informed about the updates. These seem ordinary, but Singapore faced the pandemic head-on with a strong set of long-term solutions.
Health is something that many countries should work harder in improving. If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic taught, it’s that people’s health and countries’ healthcare systems can be very vulnerable. We can look at how Singapore maintains health safety and see how their methods can be applied to others, too.