Data on health inequalities (MOH)

Collecting data by income brackets could help the Government better calibrate social and health programmes. If socioeconomic factors indeed affect Singaporeans’ health status, then social interventions should be used to complement healthy-lifestyle campaigns targeting particular races, genders or age groups. If such data has already been collected, then it should be made available to researchers and the public.

Committee of Supply Debate, Ministry of Health, 12 March 2015

Mdm Chair,

MOH has released a good amount of health-related data on its websites and in response to Parliamentary questions, and I appreciate the Ministry’s willingness to release this data. However, there remain some information gaps which I hope can be addressed.

We typically see health reports from MOH stratifying disease rates by ethnicity, gender and age, but seldom by income level. Several studies in other countries have found an association between income and health, with low income households tending to have poorer health.

Collecting data by income brackets could help the Government better calibrate social and health programmes. If socioeconomic factors indeed affect Singaporeans’ health status, then social interventions should be used to complement healthy-lifestyle campaigns targeting particular races, genders or age groups. If such data has already been collected, then it should be made available to researchers and the public.

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