In Singapore, the healthcare sector is one of the largest and most rapidly expanding industries. The rise in the elderly population, shifting disease patterns, and an increasing prevalence of chronic illnesses are contributing to a significant need for both healthcare professionals and administrative staff.
According to various sources, including the Singapore Ministry of Health, the healthcare sector in Singapore has been experiencing strong growth, with the market expected to reach $43 billion in 2030.
The government has been a major contributing factor to this growth by spending high levels of funding, which are predicted to top $13.2 billion in 2020 and triple to $36 billion by 2029. The healthcare sector accounts for close to 6% of Singapore’s GDP and is predicted to rise to 9% by 2029, which indicates a growing demand for healthcare professionals in Singapore.
Singapore has been ranked 12th in the 2021 World Index of Healthcare Innovation and offers universal coverage for its citizens with multiple layers of care. Compared to its ASEAN peers, Singapore spends the most annually on healthcare on a per capita basis, and this expenditure is expected to rise faster than GDP due to the country’s ageing population and demographic changes.
The Ministry of Health has projected that Singapore’s National Health Expenditure could increase to $43 billion in 2030. Healthcare spending, which includes both public and private healthcare expenditures, is predicted to account for 5.9% of GDP and may increase to 9.0% by the same time.
This increase in spending is primarily due to rising government spending on healthcare and the local population’s consumption of healthcare services, attributed mainly to an ageing population and an inclination towards earlier diagnosis of chronic conditions, close monitoring, and follow-up.
There are several key factors driving job growth in Singapore’s healthcare sector:
The country's population is ageing rapidly, and this has led to an increased demand for healthcare services. As people age, they are more likely to require medical care and assistance, leading to a higher demand for healthcare professionals.
The Singaporean government has been investing heavily in the healthcare sector, which has led to job growth in the industry. The government's support has helped to create new jobs in areas such as research and development, nursing, and medical technology.
The healthcare sector in Singapore has been quick to adopt new technologies, which has led to the creation of new jobs in areas such as medical imaging, data analysis, and telemedicine.
Singapore has become a popular destination for medical tourism, with many people travelling to the country for medical treatments. This has led to job growth in areas such as hospitality and medical support services.
As the healthcare sector in Singapore becomes more advanced, there is an increasing demand for specialized care. This has led to job growth in areas such as oncology, cardiology, and neurology, as well as in the research and development of new treatments and therapies.
Singapore’s excellent healthcare services have led to the country being a top destination for healthcare tourism, with over 500,000 medical tourists annually, and healthcare offers the most job opportunities in Singapore. The sector employs over 100,000 workers, accounting for just under 3% of the total workforce, with around 70% being healthcare professionals, and the remaining 30% being support, administrative, and ancillary workers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of support workers in the sector, particularly swabbers and care ambassadors. The healthcare sector is also becoming a desirable industry to work in, particularly for mid-career switchers, with the rising interest shown during the pandemic.
There are several critical skills that Healthcare professionals must possess, including:
Healthcare professionals in Singapore require a combination of technical, interpersonal, and language skills to provide high-quality care to patients and succeed in their careers.
At present, the following institutions offer primary medical education:
If you want to enroll in an undergraduate medical program, you must sign a Medical Agreement with the Ministry of Health (MOH) before starting your course.
On-the-job training is an integral part of healthcare education worldwide, including in Singapore. Many training opportunities are provided to students while they are in medical school.
The qualifications required can vary depending on the specific medical organization, but there are some common criteria that most positions share. These include:
There is a strong demand for healthcare professionals in Singapore due to the country’s rapidly ageing population, increasing healthcare needs, and rising demand for medical tourism. The government’s high levels of spending on healthcare and the sector’s strong growth also contribute to a favorable job market for healthcare professionals in Singapore.
The healthcare sector offers a wide variety of job opportunities.
The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and an ageing population have led to a surge in demand for healthcare professionals. To cater to this demand, the healthcare sector is establishing new facilities, including integrated facilities, community hospitals, general hospitals, and polyclinics.
Among all the ASEAN countries, Singapore has the highest proportion of elderly individuals, defined as those over 65 years of age, at 10.7% of the total population. However, within the next two decades, Singapore is expected to undergo a phenomenon known as ‘hyper-ageing,’ where around 25% of the population will be 65 years of age or older by 2030. In light of this, it is crucial to construct more facilities for the elderly, such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers.
Moreover, there will be an increasing demand for services such as geriatric medicine, home-based patient monitoring, memory care, and rehabilitation medicine. This presents a lucrative and expanding market in Singapore for U.S. companies specializing in elder-care products and services.
Singapore’s healthcare system has witnessed tremendous progress in the digital health sector over the past year. While robots patrolled the wards, patients consulted doctors through video conferencing, and clinics delivered medicines to their doorsteps, experts from Singapore’s healthcare system predicted further advances in digital health. Singapore’s ageing population means that health services need to target chronic conditions.
A Primary Tech Enhanced Care initiative has been launched that allows hypertension patients to submit their blood pressure readings through a Bluetooth machine. Healthcare providers can then analyze these readings and intervene when necessary. Other trends include at-home care, making hospital visits more convenient, freeing up doctors’ time, and a unified national healthcare system.
Creating an ecosystem to build med-tech companies is essential for the advancement, and growth of the healthcare industry and to provide digital health jobs in Singapore.
A few digital health jobs include telehealth doctor, surgical robot developer/ technician, and cloud-based solutions developer in the health industry.
The responsibilities of a healthcare administrator may vary depending on their specific job title and can encompass a wide range of duties, which may include but are not restricted to
The job responsibilities of healthcare administrators can vary based on the type of healthcare facility they work in, such as nursing homes, surgery centers, physical therapy clinics, and others.
Common tasks performed by healthcare administrators include:
Healthcare administrators must be adaptable and capable of assuming new responsibilities during their employment. The size and location of the healthcare facility may also impact their job responsibilities.
Depending on their role, healthcare administrators may oversee an entire facility or a specific department within a facility.
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To sum up, pursuing a career in the healthcare industry in Singapore is extremely beneficial due to various factors like attractive remuneration, high demand, and recognition through awards and accolades. As this field continues to expand, if you are considering a healthcare career, we can offer our assistance.
Yes. Various reports show healthcare is a growing industry in Singapore.
An ageing population, a higher prevalence of chronic diseases, technological advancements, and a more knowledgeable and discerning population all contribute to an increase in healthcare demand and spending.
The healthcare system in Singapore is exceptional in terms of both its superior quality and its ability to manage the cost of care.
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