Singapore operates one of the most advanced cost effective healthcare systems by applying a long-range integrated approach to health systems planning. ACCESS Health has opened a regional office in Singapore to study how Singapore achieves these results and adapts its system to an aging population with greater prevalence of chronic diseases. Lessons from Singapore are shared as part of a global dialogue on high quality, affordable health care; we bridge countries and organizations faced with similar challenges in order for them to learn from each other. We also initiate new programs, such as the Modern Aging program that aims at spurring interest for the elderly among younger generations.

The results of our first two years of work are summarized in a book “Affordable Excellence: The Singapore Healthcare Story. How to Create and Manage Sustainable Healthcare Systems." (A PDF of the book is available here).The book describes the origin of the Singapore healthcare system and how it functions today to provide excellent results at the lowest cost among OECD countries.

Today Singapore is looking forward and anticipating the healthcare needs of the future. Like most countries with advanced economies, the population of Singapore is aging rapidly. The ratio of those under to those over 65 years old is now about 6:1 and will approach 2:1 over the next thirty years. Singapore is now engaged in a long term planning process to reorient its healthcare system to the needs of the elderly and chronically ill.

ACCESS Health Singapore is actively engaged in studying the process by which Singapore is planning for the healthcare needs of the future. Specifically we describe and document the government’s planning process and implementation of programs.  ACCESS Health also studies how the related fields of recreation and wellness, urban planning, housing design, transportation infrastructure, introduction of electronic health records, use of telehealth, construction of community hospitals and clinics, design of wellness programs, and immigration policy can be coordinated to best effect. In parallel, ACCESS Health is studying how three East Asian Countries- South Korea, Japan and Taiwan- are planning for the future of eldercare. Studying their methods and processes sets the foundation for a knowledge exchange network on aging.

ACCESS Health Singapore partners with academia, health care institutions, community organizations, multi-national corporations, private foundations, and entrepreneurial start-ups, working to identify, share, and scale up innovations across sectors and disciplines. We coordinate with similar work being done by ACCESS Health Sweden and ACCESS Health U.S. Specifically we all contribute to the Silverevolution blog, a discussion forum for improvements in eldercare, and Modern Aging, an innovation program for development of young entrepreneurs’ ideas for the elderly, created by our colleagues in Sweden.

To learn more about ACCESS Health Singapore please contact our country manager Adrienne Mendenhall.