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The USA and Singapore Health Care Addressing COVID-19


All the countries around the globe are trying to combat COVID-19 by financing health care. The United States and Singapore are the states with different models and expenditures to health care. The situation in two countries and their performance during the pandemic is evaluated by using three metrics from eight-factor: incidence rate, death rate, and several recovered from the infection. Furthermore, the health care models of the two governments are analyzed by using Reid’s models. These factors infer that Singapore is managing the current situation more effectively than the US.

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Models of Health Care

The United States and Singapore have dissimilar models of health care since the countries have different historical backgrounds and financial states. The main difference between the US and Singapore is their population size. There is an influence of a historical factor on the health system design in Singapore. The country was a British state until the second half of the 20th century. Thus, it offered the government clinics and facilities in a framework displayed on the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) (Nurjono et al., 2018). The country uses the Beveridge Model of Reid’s types of health care similar to the UK (Reid, 2009). Their tax system requires 20% of the people with low income to pay less than 10% of all taxes, and the individuals from the high class pay more than half of the bills (Ministry of Health Singapore, 2020). This way, people in poverty can gain more health benefits from the government. The US uses all four kinds of Reid’s models of the medical program. It has special funding for compromised groups and enrolls its participants into the insurance program which takes a portion from workers’ wages; private service is also often practiced in the states (Reid, 2009). Hence, the countries have quite different processes of medical help provision.

The Structures of the Health Care

Singapore’s people do not need to pay as much as American citizens, but they do not seem to receive a good service. In the US, private sectors function as primary caregivers and people attend public hospitals only in cases of private facilities’ unavailability (Shrank et al., 2019). Singaporean government strictly controls the distribution and maintenance of equipment and novel technology. They also regulate the distribution of medications in public sectors and their prices in pharmacies. The doctors’ service is considerably cheaper than in the US. In the latter, people need to pay about $6 per visit to a public specialist (Ministry of Health Singapore, 2020). Physicians in Singapore see more than 60 patients a day who come to a hospital because of different diseases (Ministry of Health Singapore, 2020). They have to work overtime since they have a heavy workload.

COVID-19 Situation in the Countries

The chosen three metrics which evaluate the effectiveness of health care systems in two countries are the incidence rate, number of deaths due to the infection, and number of recovered patients. The incident rate refers to the number of infected people in the country since the outbreak. The death rate is the number of lethal cases caused by the infection. The last metric is a significant indicator of effective health care, which is the number of people treated from COVID-19. The graphs provided below indicate the death rate in two countries from the beginning of the year. Singapore has 6 million people of the total population and only 28 deaths, while America has 330 million people and 258 thousand deaths (Singapore coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths, 2020; United States coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths, 2020). There are almost 12 million cases of COVID-19 infection in the United States as of today, whereas Singapore has approximately 58 thousand cases. The more reliable metric of the health care systems is the count of treated patients. Singapore has almost 99% recovery of the infected and the US has only about 60% of people recovered (“Global Coronavirus,” 2020). Therefore, Singapore showed better outcomes according to these measures compared to the US.

Singapore’s effectiveness is the result of its rapid response to the pandemic. Kuguyo et al. (2020) suggest that the government quickly distributed all the necessary protection items such as masks, gloves, and sanitizers to each family. It timely introduced the quarantine and lockdown to control the COVID-19 spread, while the United States did not follow the restrictions during the beginning of the pandemic. Only lately, the US started to place testing stations in more available areas and affordable screening for its citizens. However, it is necessary to keep the pace since the population is large. Additionally, Singapore has a screening for coronavirus at each public place and the country provides its tests for the infection internationally due to their high preciseness (Kuguyo et al., 2020). Thus, Singapore’s quick response to the pandemic helped it to minimize the risk of massive infection.

COVID Deaths in the US
Figure 1. COVID-19 Deaths in the US (United States coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths, 2020)
COVID Deaths in Singapore
Figure 2. COVID-19 Deaths in Singapore (Singapore coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths, 2020)


In conclusion, the key components from the Eight Factor Model are historical, financing, structure, and resources factors. They helped to account the health care background of each of the governments and represent their current situations. Additionally, the health care models in the two states were compared by using Reid’s model system as a reference. The evaluation of health systems illustrates the state’s approach against the current situation with the pandemic. The US people seem to spend more money on medicine; however, Singaporean government provides all its people with necessary health care. Overall, Singapore seems to handle the pandemic since both the number of deaths and infection occurrence are substantially lower compared to the drastic situation in the US. This may be due to its rapid measures against COVID-19 and precise and frequent screening for the infection. The US could impose stricter restrictions on public gatherings and have more screening stations to timely detect the infected.


Congressional Research Service. (2020). U.S. health care coverage and spending. [PDF document].

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Global coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. (2020). Covid Metrics. Web.

Kuguyo, O., Kengne, A. P., & Dandara, C. (2020). Singapore COVID-19 pandemic response as a successful model framework for low-resource health care settings in Africa? OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology, 24(8), 470–478.

Ministry of Health Singapore. (2020). Healthcare inflation.

Nurjono, M., Yoong, J., Yap, P., Wee, S. L., & Vrijhoef, H. J. M. (2018). Implementation of integrated care in Singapore: A complex adaptive system perspective. International Journal of Integrated Care, 18(4), 4.

Reid, T. R. (2009). Four basic models of health care [PDF document]. Health: The big picture.

Shrank, W. H., Rogstad, T. L., & Parekh, N. (2019). Waste in the US health care system: Estimated costs and potential for savings. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 322(15), 1501-1509.

Singapore coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths (2020). Covid Metrics [Graph]. Web.

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United States coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths. (2020). Covid Metrics [Graph]. Web.

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