Research Reports: Hospital Beds are Insufficient to Meet Demands of Singapore’s Growing Population

Three separate organisations have come up with research reports stating that public hospital facilities are insufficient to keep with with Singapore’s population growth.

To start off, Credit Suisse published this in its research report on Singapore’s healthcare system:

“Although  the  government  is  planning  to  make  significant  investments  to  increase  the
capacity  of  hospitals,  we  expect  the  bed  constraint  problem  to  persist.  According  to  the government’s  published  population  white  paper,  Singapore’s  population  could  range between 6.5mn and 6.9mn by 2030. Based on the announced pipeline of hospitals and assuming  that  Singapore’s  population  grows to  6.9mn in 2030 from 5.5mn in  2015,  the hospital  bed  ratio  would  have  barely  improved  from  2.5  in  2014  to  2.6  in  2030.  Bed capacity is likely to remain tight given that the proportion of elderly is doubled. Assuming that the population grows to 6.5 mn in 2030 from the current 5.5 mn, the hospital bed ratio would  be  2.8  which  is  roughly  in  line  with  the  bed  ratio  in  2000,  but  the  percentage  of population older than 65 would still be close to three times.”

In July this year, Value Penguin stated that:

“Because the geriatric population is growing more quickly than hospital facilities can realistically keep up with, it seems like more and more Singaporeans will experience overcrowding at hospitals. Furthermore, there may still be a chance that upcoming projects may not provide enough relief if the rate of hospitalisations continues to increase, especially because these projects take several years to be completed.”

And in the latest report today, local non-governmental organisation the Lien Foundation stated that the government has not provided enough facilities or subsidies for the rapidly ageing population.

The Lien Foundation report also stressed the importance of preventive care, citing how a rapidly greying Singapore could see the number of Singaporeans aged 65 and above doubling to two million by 2030.

However, the Health Ministry has assured Singaporeans that there is “sufficient capacity to meet demand”.

In a statement today, the MOH said that it is “on track to meeting our targets of 6,200 day care places, 10,000 home care places and 17,000 nursing home beds by 2020”.

The MOH added that the Government has increased its spending on the eldercare sector from S$1.3 billion in the four years from 2007 to S$5.1 billion for the 4 years from 2012, and that it has committed S$2 billion to support the proposed CareShield Life scheme which will launch in 2020.




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