Friday, February 23, 2007
Doctor numbers- WHO statistics
1.WHO Statistics on Number of doctors per capita by countries
(NB: the doctor figures from different countries may be from different years- as reported to WHO)
Countries/ Drs Nos./ (Dr. numbers per 1000 )
Singapore 5,747 (1.4) )
Europe (Advanced countries)
Belgium 46,268 (4.49)
Denmark 15,653 (2.93)
Finland 16,446 (3.16)
France 203,487 (3.37)
Germany 277,885 (3.37)
Ireland 11,141 (2.79)
Italy 241,000 (4.2)
Netherlands 50,854 (3.15)
Norway 14,200 (3.13)
Sweden 29,122 (3.28)
UK 133,641 (2.3)
USA 730,801 (2.56)
Canada 66,583 (2.14)
Australia 47,875 (2.47)
NZ 9,027 (2.37)
Japan 251,889 (1.98)
S Korea 75,045 (1.57)
Malaysia 16,146 (0.7)
Philippines 44,287 (0.58)
Other City States
HK 11505 (1.7)
Taiwan 34093 (1.52)
Addendum: 24.2.07 HK and Taiwan's statistics I just got from
I manage to get the statistics for Doctor numbers and Doctors per capita ( ie per 1000) figures from the WHO website.
I do not have the time to analyse the figures yet, but it is pretty much self-explanatory.
I do not want to give a knee-jerk reaction to the Ministry of Health's sudden disclosure that we have about the advanced nations' lowest doctor-population ratio ( now suddenly we count ourselves amongst the 1st world! Anything to win an argument?) .
Anyway, the statistics do not lie. ( but then again wasn't it Disreali who said, " There are 3 types of lies- Lies, damned lies and statistics" ?)
But somehow, my impression and my doctor-friends impressions also do not bear out that we are short ( esply in the private sector).
I wonder how being a city-state skew the stats? I wonder what would the doctor per capita of cities be? Any statisticians or maths whiz out there? I just added in HK's and Taiwan's figures.
Theirs are closer to Sg's numbers ( but still a tad higher).
Let's chew on the statistics ( and dig up your books on t-test/ chi-square test/correlation coefficient etc) and let me have your comments.
Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan
PS: I apologise for the poor quality of graph ( I did it with my elementary MS Excel skills all by my lonesome self)
Also the figures keep bunching up. Given up trying to space and line them out.
3.About the WHO website for statistics (Core Health Indicators)
For those who want to look at the statistics yourselves please go:
Then select (all countries)---> (all years)
select physicians ( numbers) and physician per capita.
Then of course press submit ( in case there are technology virgins here) :)
4. This is the thingaling that started the whole debate
Singapore has worst patient-doctor ratio: report
(21 Feb 07 Channelnewsasia.com)
Singapore has the worst patient-to-doctor ratio among developed countries and has embarked on a global effort to entice doctors, a report said Wednesday.
Top health ministry officials went to Australia and London last year to convince Singaporean doctors studying or working there to return, and to encourage top foreign doctors to practise in Singapore, the Straits Times said.
It quoted the health ministry's permanent secretary Yong Ying I, who was dispatched to London last year, as saying Singapore has the worst patient-to-doctor ratio among developed countries.
"We have very efficient doctors and they work very hard. But somewhere along the way we also don't have enough," the newspaper quoted Yong as saying.
"If you want to bring down waiting times, we need to recruit more doctors, much more than a few percent."
The city-state is faced with an ageing population but is also seeking to bolster its role as a top provider of quality healthcare services for patients from abroad.
Singapore, Southeast Asia's most advanced economy, had a population of about 4.4 million with 6,748 doctors registered in 2005, according to official statistics.
The goal is to have one doctor per patient in public hospitals, up from a ratio of one per every two, the report said.
The country needs to produce 400-600 locally trained doctors annually, up from the current level of more than 200, the paper quoted Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan as saying.
Khaw cautioned that "much as we will try to recruit as many as we can, we will be lucky to half-succeed," which was why he sent his top two ministry officials to scout for doctors abroad, the report said.