Choices in Financing Health Care and Old Age Security
- Washington, DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank
- Choices in Financing Health Care and Old Age Security
World Bank Discussion Paper No. 392
Proceedings of a Conference Sponsored by the Institute of Policy Studies, Singapore, and the World Bank, November 8, 1997
This volume contains the keynote address (delivered by Singapore's minister for health and for the environment), six papers and four comments prepared for the Institute of Policy Studies, Singapore-World Bank conference on Financing Health Care and Old Age Security, held in Singapore on 8 November 1997. Conference participants addressed a looming problem for nearly every country, developing and industrial: how to deal with the implications rapidly aging populations have for the financing of medical care and income security for the elderly. The issues identified and the solutions proposed can provide insight and guidance for policymakers, researchers and others interested in addressing these challenges now, when they are manageable - rather than later, when they have the potential to create increasingly serious financial, social, political and cultural problems.
Of special interest are the contributors' analyses of Singapore's unique, integrated approach to managing social risk, which is based on mandatory individual savings accounts. Singapore's pioneering model unifies medical savings accounts for acute medical care in old age with a provident fund for retirement income. While the lessons of Singapore's experience are of worldwide interest given current efforts to reform social security systems, the minister's keynote address highlights the continuing need for innovations to refine the basic model - calling for the development of a new approach to financing the growing problem of long-term medical care for the elderly.
Old Age Security