Lessons from Singapore: Opt-Out Health Savings Accounts for Australia

While it is unusual for a country to introduce fundamental change to the way it finances its health care, it is important that the design of Australia’s health system bears some relation to the demographic challenges it confronts, as well as representing overall value for money. With the federal government’s component of health expenditure alone expected to rise from 4–7% of GDP by the mid-century, Medicare as it stands will be unsustainable without a lift in health productivity or more taxation or more public debt or some combination of these. One obvious alternative to consider is the way in which Singapore has nurtured a low cost, competitive health economy in which Health Savings Accounts have flourished.

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