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Roundtable Series 5: Health

Event Summary

Centre for Research on the Economics of Ageing (CREA) hosted its 5th roundtable on Monday, 4th June 2018. At this HEALTH roundtable, CREA shared our newest findings on Healthcare expenditure and held a discussion on long-term health care financing in Singapore. Experts from the integrated public healthcare clusters, key government agencies, statutory boards, and research centres joined for the event.

Director of CREA, Professor Bryce Hool kick-started the event with a quick introduction of our centre and the Singapore Life Panel (SLP), the world’s largest high-frequency longitudinal survey of seniors. Thereafter, Senior Research Associate, Steve Hoskins presented some updates of CREA’s Health Data since 2017 and shared many interesting findings. For instance, arthritis prevalence has more than doubled (and actually overtook prevalence of diabetes) in our national representative cohort.

SLP Director, Professor Rhema Vaithianathan then took the stage by discussing the impact of health shocks on Singaporeans’ wealth, and how effective our current safety nets (e.g. Medisave, private insurance, etc.) are for Singaporeans with health shocks.

Next, Research Fellow, Jessica Ya Sun, examined the effect of cash transfers on health care utilization and health outcomes, using evidence from the 5-Year Medisave Top-up Plan. Astonishingly, fewer than 40% of eligible individuals for the 5-Year Medisave Top-up Plan were even aware that they were eligible for the policy. She concluded that policy awareness has a significant influence over the effectiveness of this policy.

The event ended with a lively discussion on ‘Healthcare Financing and its Puzzles’ to explore multidisciplinary approaches to long-term insurance.

Please find the programme here.

News Coverage



Monday, 4 June 2018 - 1:00pm to 4:30pm


Singapore Management University, Seminar Room 5.1, 90 Stamford Road, Singapore 178903