The Ministry of Health's allocation for Government Budget Year 2009 has increased by almost $1 billion to $3.7 billion. This is an increase of 34%. Speaking in Parliament last week, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan highlighted where this funds will go to. The indicative spendings within the ministry include:
Speaking in Parliament last week, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed statistics for the medical tourism sector of Singapore. Mr Khaw informed that the number of medical tourists is estimated by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) using exit surveys at Changi Airport. For year 2007 (the last year for which figures are available), there were 348,000 medical tourists. This was 15% less than the previous year, 2006 (410,000). While tourist numbers dropped, the dollar value expenditure went up to $1.7 billion (+30%) over that period.
A new training and certification centre for rank-and-file healthcare workers has been established. The centre, located at Jalan Bukit Merah, was officially opened by Acting Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong on 16 January 2009. It will be run by Health Management International Ltd (HMI), a private healthcare and education/training provider.
With support from the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), trainees will get grants of up to 90% for their course fees under the agency's Skills Programme for Upgrading and Resilience (SPUR).