Fastest aging society in the world
Increase life expectancy
Consumer expectations
Third party players
Growing pressure on health-care budget
The need for health economics is critical
to gear up to dramatically increase their expenditure on healthcare and to explore universal coverage
To face a myriad of issues
To be central to
Professor Rhema Vaithianathan

QUESTION 1 - 1:15 Defining Health Economics and what are the broad areas that it covers?

What are according to Professor Rhema Vaithianathan the broad areas that health Economics cover?

Definition: Health Economic is the relationship between people’s health status and the economy.
There are Two broad areas:
1-To what extent is health an input into economic growth. Can people work till the end of their productive years? The role of health in the economic growth.
2-How we produce and distribute health-care services to the population. How countries manage to ensure the money spent maximizes the health value for their population. How robust is the healthcare system how capable is the health-care system to deliver services to the people who really need them.

QUESTION 2 - 3:25 How is the study of health economics relevant to Singapore according to Professor Rhema Vaithianathan?

For Singaporeans health-care is a number one priority.
You cannot do everything for everyone.
So we have to decide as a community on priorities. How are we going forward.
So that when people really need something they are looked after.
Singapore is at a turning point: how to tackle this priority so it is sustainable economically and for the people whom the system has to serve.
To maximize health value for the population with a fixed budget.

QUESTION 3 - 5:00: What are the lessons from her Australian and New Zealand experience that Professor Rhema Vaithianathan considers useful for Singapore?

To concentrate on people who are getting health-care and not enough on the people who are getting the peace of mind as a result of the health system.
To provide certainty, evidence for their whole population about what will happen if they fall ill.
Question: how to improve their peace of mind Or provide a sense of certainty about what will happen if people fall ill.

QUESTION 4 - 6:34 How can businesses benefit from the research and study of health economics according to Professor Rhema Vaithianathan?

A lot of investors are very hot on the health-care sector in the Asian region.
Because most Asian countries are spending much less on health-care than they will do in the long run.
All spending single digits. We are expecting those countries to increase their spending on healthcare.
These countries are going to want value for money. And spend on health-care.
Singapore could be considered as a stepping stone for a private sector player, to entering some of those very hot markets.
Those hot markets will be looking for innovative ways in which they can diffuse good health-care, clinical practice, imaging technology, insurance systems…
Health-care research has the responsibility to work with these companies to help companies position themselves on these markets.

QUESTION 5 - 8:05 What does health services research encompass according to Professor Rhema Vaithianathan?

It is a specific part of health economics. It is looking at how to redesign health services: hospital, community level… To improve the quality of outcomes to patients (delivered) and decrease the cost of health-care for a giving quality level.
Health services are about redesigning the delivery of health-care.

QUESTION 6 - 8:39 As a founding member of the Singapore Health Economics Association, established by SMU in 2013, what are Professor Rhema Vaithianathan's current activities? and Future Plans?

What are Professor Rhema Vaithianathan’s future plans?

What are the Singapore Health Economics Association’s activities?
What are the Singapore Health Economics Association’s future plans?

to organize the meeting of health economists with people interested in the topic.
To pull together a bunch of Health economists . 300 people enrolled. This shows the hunger for health economist in the region.
To build that hunger and
to meet it with fantastic health economists .
Objective: Trying to meet the demand.
Building more demand by reaching out to policy agencies…

Future plans:
The private sector : Singapore wants to be a leading center for biotechnology.
To become a leading center for biotechnology.
To have biotech firms meet with health economics as they go to meet with regulators to try to prove the worth of their product.
One of the areas where the firms meet health economics is when they go to meet regulators and try to prove the worth of their product.
Singapore needs those health economists who can build the business case around that science.