New not-for-profit hospital model can increase options for lower-cost private healthcare


Mr Ong also pointed out that hospitals may run as not-for-profit organisations as it is “more in line” with the institutions’ public health mission, and it helps them access philanthropic funds. 

“Apart from that, there are no major inherent differences in the way good for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals are run, in terms of quality of care, attention to value-based care, talent recruitment and development,” he said. 

Noting that MOH is consulting the industry to establish a next private hospital, Mr Ong added that the proposed not-for-profit aspect is “not the key feature”.

He said that the “more important features” are that the hospital is required to serve primarily Singaporeans. 

There will also be stronger governance, whereby the hospital will only have one healthcare license. 

This means that the hospital operator needs to have strong oversight and control of its doctors’ clinical practices, said Mr Ong. 

The various professionals in that hospital – specialists, surgeons, general physicians, pharmacists, rehabilitation professionals – will have to work closely as a team to serve patients.

For cost-effective care, Mr Ong said: “We intend to impose bill size restrictions on the private hospital as we do not want a high-cost care model.”

“We intend to specify all these as conditions that potential hospital operators who are bidding will have to meet and will be evaluated on,” he added. 

This means that land price “will not be the sole (criterion) in determining the hospital operator”, Mr Ong highlighted. 

Establishing a new private hospital model with these features provides a better range of options in Singapore’s healthcare landscape, he said. 

“Today, we have public healthcare which is heavily subsidised by the government, and which we are trying to make as affordable to Singaporeans as possible.

“But the nature of subsidised care is that there is a wait time, which can be quite lengthy for non-urgent electives.”

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