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     FrontPage Edition: Wed 25 May 2005

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Key Survey Findings on Health Services 2003


Health Services


In 2003, the health services industry comprised 3,300 establishments and employed a total of 47,400 workers. This represented an average employment size of 14 workers per establishment.
Total operating receipts collected by the health services industry grew by 1.8 per cent from $5,084 million in 2002 to $5,174 million in 2003, largely due to the 3.8 per cent increase registered by hospitals.
As the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 resulted in a onetime spike in hospital expenses, government subvention to hospitals correspondingly increased. This offset the overall decline in medical and health services income. However, on a per establishment basis, operating receipts dropped by 6.2 per cent to $1.5 million in 2003.
Total operating expenditure declined marginally by 0.5 per cent to $4,694 million in 2003. In terms of operating expenditure per establishment, the amount decreased by 8.2 per cent to $1.4 million in 2003.
Total operating surplus rose from $732 million in 2002 to $842 million in 2003, representing an increase of 15.0 per cent. Correspondingly, operating surplus per establishment grew by 6.1 per cent during the same period.
Total value added generated by the industry was $3,155 million in 2003, up 1.2 per cent over the previous year¡¯s total of $3,117 million. On a per establishment basis, value added fell by 6.7 per cent to $942,400 in 2003.
Western clinics & specialised medical services constituted a significant 62.1 per cent of the total establishments in the health services industry (Chart 1). They employed an average of 7 workers per establishment.
Hospitals, however, were the largest employer, engaging some 23,800 workers in 2003, or an average employment size of 1,081 workers.

In terms of operating receipts and value added, hospitals were the largest contributors, accounting for 46.7 per cent and 48.0 per cent of the respective industry totals in 2003 (Chart 2).
Western clinics & specialised medical services constituted another major group in the health services industry, accounting for 37.0 per cent of total operating receipts and 35.6 per cent of total value added.
In 2003, remuneration and purchases of goods & materials were the top two business cost items across all the groups in health services industry (Table 1).
Except for non-western clinics, remuneration was the most significant business cost item among the health services groups, forming 44-53 per cent of the respective group¡¯s total operating expenditure. As for non-western clinics, purchases of goods & materials was the major cost item, contributing 40.9 per cent of their expenditure.
Profitability Ratio of overall health services rose from 14.2 per cent in 2002 to 16.1 per cent in 2003. The increase was mainly attributed to the higher ratios recorded by hospitals and western clinics & specialised medical services. Within the industry, non-western clinics registered the highest profitability ratio of 26.4 per cent in 2003 (Chart 3).

Cost Effectiveness, as measured by the earnings-expenditure ratio, stood at 18.4 per cent for the overall health services in 2003, higher than the 15.8 per cent recorded in 2002. Among the health services groups, non-western clinics were the most cost effective, with a ratio of 35.1 per cent in 2003 (Chart 4).

Average Annual Remuneration per Employee was $50,600 for employees in the health services industry in 2003. Employees in non-western clinics continued to receive the lowest average remuneration at $21,300 (Table 2). Among the health services groups, only dental services recorded a positive growth (5.3 per cent) in average remuneration over the previous year.

Value Added per Worker for overall health services declined from $67,300 in 2002 to $66,500 in 2003. Within the industry, western clinics & specialised medical services recorded the highest average value added of $78,000 in 2003 (Chart 5). On the other hand, non-western clinics¡¯ value added per worker was the lowest at $26,400.

Small firms (i.e. less than 10 workers) formed the majority (92.1 per cent) in the health services industry in 2003 (Table 3). However, large firms (100 workers & above) which constituted only 1.0 per cent, contributed the largest share of 60.7 per cent of the industry¡¯s total operating receipts.


Source: Singapore Department of Statistics Press Release 25 May 2005

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