With the ageing population estimated to rise to 25% by 2030, Singapore is looking to ensure that its citizens not only grow old, but age well and continue contributing positively to the society. In March 2022, the Ministry of Health revealed that there would be a stronger focus on preventive care as part of the "Healthier SG" strategy – emphasising on healthcare outcomes and patient-centric care over hospital-centric care – to reduce the burden on patients and healthcare systems, making healthcare expenditure more sustainable in the long run.
Although the life expectancy of Singaporeans is reported to be amongst the highest in the world, the number of people vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and respiratory tract infections remain high. Heart failure (HF) in Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), for example, impose substantial and growing burden on patients, society, and healthcare systems in Singapore, as they are often being detected and managed late. This results in increasing clinical and economic burden which could have been avoided or delayed through early detection of diseases. This, along with cancers and lower respiratory infections – diseases that can be prevented through early screening – account for approximately 70% of Years of Life Lost (YLL) in Singapore.
The role of diagnostics should therefore be incorporated into the "Healthier SG" strategy as it is a critical first step for the detection of diseases. For all individuals, young and old, diagnostics adds value as a "preventive" care mechanism aligned with Singapore's goal to help citizens Live Well, Age Well.