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Letter From Abroad
February 1999

Dermatology Health Care and Training in Singapore

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Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999

Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(2):193-194. doi:10.1001/archderm.135.2.193

SINGAPORE'S HEALTH care services and medical workforce training in dermatology have been modified over the last few decades to suit the current needs of the country. This article discusses the health care services and workforce training in dermatology in Singapore.

A characteristic of Singapore's health care system is the government's emphasis on citizens' partial responsibility for their own personal health care. It is hoped that this will cut down on abuse and waste in the public health care system. Citizens are required to copay for all medical services in public hospitals unless they cannot afford it. The system ensures that government health care expenditure is kept in check and that citizens are prudent when using public health care services. A compulsory saving program in Singapore requires all employees to put aside a portion of their salary that can be used to cover medical expenses. A restructuring program has enabled public hospitals to be semiautonomous and therefore able to respond to the needs of medical services quickly. The establishment of specialty medical centers, for example, the National Skin Center (NSC), optimizes the use of Singapore's scarce medical workforce.

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