Hospital attendance in Singapore witnessed major rise in 2016

The increased number of ageing population and attractive Government subsidies are considered to be the two crucial factors which played a crucial role in the hospital attendance increase

A security guard holds an umbrella as he walks in the rain outside Gleneagles Hospital
Picture for representation Reuters

According to latest statistics, it has been learned that hospitals in Singapore have witnessed a rise in attendance by nine percent in 2016, compared to 2015. The increased number of aging population and the readiness of more people in seeking medical help due to attractive Government subsidies are considered to be the two factors which played a crucial role in this drastic rise.

Polyclinic attendance in Singapore has also increased by 8 percent compared to 2015. Attendance at specialist outpatient clinics too witnessed a rise of 5 percent than 2015. The increase in attendance at specialist outpatient clinics has also marked the highest annual spike in a decade.

A sneak peek to the statistics

Even though hospital attendance has increased in both the public and private sectors, the make-up of the nature of patients in these sectors is different. Two-third of the patients who got admitted in the private hospitals are aged between 15-60. On the other hand, only half of the patients in the public sector falls under this age group.

In public hospitals, more than a third admitted were aged 65 and above. The number of old-age people admitted in private hospitals is comparatively low when compared to other age groups.

According to MHO, 555,284 hospital admissions were made, and out of this list, 425,691 were exclusively in public hospitals. In Singaporean polyclinics, more than 5,30,000 people sought treatment in 2016.

Government subsidies gaining popularity

Since 2014, veteran citizens in Singapore are getting subsidies just based on their age. Economic status of the citizen is not considered for availing Chad subsidy and as a result, the number of people visiting the GP clinic has risen drastically in 2016.

6,75,000 people visited the GP clinic in 2016, while it was just 377,000 in 2015.

When asked about the increased statistics, a MOH spokesperson told that the rise in figures in 2016 is due to the increased number of dengue cases in the initial months of the year, followed by hand and foot diseases in the latter months. The spokesman added that more than 13,000 people were admitted in 2016 due to dengue fever.

"The elderly are more likely to have more frequent and severe acute conditions, as well as an increased prevalence of chronic conditions. MOH has redoubled efforts to keep healthcare sustainable and to meet the needs of our population," said the MOH spokesman, reports Straits Times.