Health technology assessment in Singapore.
- PubMed: 19527542
The Republic of Singapore is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. Its population enjoys good health and the Singapore Ministry of Health's mission is to promote good health and reduce illness, ensure access to good and affordable health care, and pursue medical excellence. This is achieved through a healthcare system that includes both private and public sector elements. The financing philosophy of Singapore's healthcare delivery system is based on individual responsibility and community support. Health care in Singapore is financed by a combination of taxes, employee medical benefits, compulsory health savings, insurance, and out-of-pocket payment. The capability for health technology assessment in Singapore was developed concurrently with its medical device regulation system in the 1990s. The first formal unit with health technology assessment (HTA) functions was established in September 1995. Today, HTA features in decision making for the Standard Drug List, licensing of medical clinics, the Health Service Development Programme, healthcare subsidies, and policy development. The public sector healthcare delivery clusters have also recently started health services research units with HTA functions. Singapore is organizing the 6th Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) Annual Meeting in June 2009. Bringing this prestigious international conference to Asia for the first time will help raise awareness of HTA in the region.