This (if you ask your lao peh and his kakis) is largely due to the high cost of healthcare in Singapore.
Opposition MP Low Thia Khiang raised this issue in parliament today.
Stating that people find medication expensive, he asked for the profit margins of drugs sold in public hospitals.
Mr Low also questioned the effectiveness of steps taken to lower the cost of medication, especially those used to treat chronic illnesses.
“Based on feedback from residents, some Singaporeans still find the cost of medicine high. I believe this is partly due to doctors prescribing drugs for a long duration, or prescribing non-standard drugs.”
In response, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the public healthcare institutions do not make a profit on drugs prescribed.
He said that the mark-ups on drugs are used to offset “overheads and operations costs” and that they are not profit.
“Our public healthcare institutions are not-for-profit organisations.”
Mr Gan added that the government pumped in S$4.3 billion last year to fund public healthcare institutions to “support their operations” and “keep our healthcare costs low”.