Diabetes’ cost to Singapore’s economy estimated for the first time

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Diabetes’ cost to Singapore’s economy estimated for the first time

Related tags Medicine Economics

The cost of diabetes to Singapore’s economy, estimated at S$1bn (US$740m) in 2010, is predicted to grow to S$2.5bn by 2050, according to the first ever study of its kind in the country.

According to the report, published in BMC Public Health Journal by researchers in Singapore and America, 42% of the cost of diabetes comes from medical treatment, whereas the remainder is attributed to indirect costs, including losses to productivity.

In 2010, the cost of diabetes was equal to 0.35 per cent of Singapore's GDP and almost 10% of its healthcare spending, costing each working patient an estimated S$7,678.

According to the authors, this is expect this to increase to almost S$10,600 per capita by 2050, especially as the disease is expected to affect increasingly more younger people.

"Even in our conservative scenario, diabetes has imposed a significant economic burden on the national healthcare system and will continue to do so in the next four decades​,” the report said. 

The team now plans to continue the research with greater focus on cost estimates in a bid to help lawmakers determine the effectiveness of public health interventions to slow the rise of the disease.

Related topics Policy South East Asia

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