Singapore has good health facilities and social programs.
The government also promotes a healthy lifestyle through exercise and proper
nutrition. As a result, most Singaporeans enjoy good health. Infant mortality
is low, with an average of 3.8 deaths for each 1000 live births. The average
life expectancy is 77 years.
Under Singaporean law, money is deducted from an individual's paycheque each month and put into the Central Provident Fund. The Fund provides health insurance to cover medical care and emergencies. It also acts as a pension fund and helps individuals save money for education and housing.
The health care system consists of public and private
institutions. The public system provides about 20% of basic health care and 80%
of hospital care. There are 24 hospitals in Singapore, both private and public,
as well as public and private dental clinics.
The Medical Audit and Accreditation Unit makes sure that high standards are maintained in hospitals, medical clinics, laboratories and nursing and maternity homes in Singapore. This unit is also responsible for reviewing food and drugs for quality and safety. The Pharmaceutical Department protects the public from poor quality medication and ensures a high standard of pharmacy services in the country.
Singapore has strict laws to protect public health and ensure
the cleanliness of public places. Under these laws, people can be fined for spitting,
littering or failing to flush a public toilet. Smoking is forbidden in most public
areas and chewing gum is prohibited.
Traditional Chinese medicine is still widely practised in Singapore. It is based on the idea that the body must be treated as a whole, not as a collection of parts. Traditional healing practices include acupuncture, reflexology, massage using pressure points, reflexology and herbal remedies. In 1995 the government set up a Traditional Chinese Medicine Unit is to regulate the practice of traditional medicine and the training of its practitioners.