Lee Hsien Loong at Singapore Day; Straits Times

The Singapore government just commissioned two health studies yesterday (Mar 10) and they were shocked to find out that poor people have poorer health:

“The first study extracted anonymised data of 16,306 patients from the SGH’s database in 2014, covering those who lived in areas such as Telok Blangah, Chinatown and Bukit Merah. Of this, about 10 per cent were classified as frequently admitted patients. A fifth of them – 346 – lived in rental housing. The mean age of the frequently admitted patients was 66.5 years. It was found that those in rental housing had a 30 per cent higher risk of being a frequently admitted hospital patient.

The second, a study of 147,004 patients conducted from 2012 to 2017, found that those who lived in rental housing were 1.57 times more likely to die in the period, compared with those who were not living in rental housing. The patients had a mean age of 50.1 years, and about 7 per cent of the sample lived in rental housing.”

Singapore has one of the highest poverty rate among developed countries in the world, with over 30% of the households in Singapore earn less than S$1,500 per household member in 2018. About 25% earns below the poverty wage which is less than half of the median income earner.

Singapore has also one of the highest inequality, with a GINI coefficient of 0.458 – or the worst when compared to OECD nations.

Elderly Singaporeans make up the most of the poor in Singapore, with many being unable to retire due to poor payouts from their CPF funds. The CPF funds were further depressed at an interest rate of 2.5%, no thanks to dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s gamble in overseas investments as Chairman of sovereign wealth fund company GIC.