| control policies. The death rate was an impressive 4.3 for every 1000 people, this is among the lowest internationally. For the same year, the net fertility rate per woman was 1.26 (the 3rd lowest internationally) and this was far below the targeted 2.10 for population replacement. In 2000, WHO (or World Health Organization) has ranked Singapore being the 6th best in world's health systems.
As far as basic healthcare is concerned, the government is determined to keep it affordable by legislating compulsory savings and price controls. Private sector is expected to fill in the gaps for more extensive and expansive healthcare. The annual spending on health care industry is at a decent 3% of gross domestic products (or GDP for short) and private sector funds up to 66% of this spending. A report from World Health Organization concluded that Singapore has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world (only Iceland can match this record) and the country is also among the top few where the residents enjoy extended life expectancies. In fact, the healthcare system is so impressive in Singapore that it has driven Watson Wyatt, a well-known international consulting firm, to remark the following: "Singapore has one of the most successful healthcare systems in the world, in terms of both efficiency in financing and the results achieved in community health outcomes." But the model used in Singapore is truly extraordinary, whereby some of the measures would be very difficult to apply in most other countries. Among these measures are:
• Compulsory savings -- where a portion of payroll (funded by both employer and employee) is credited to a national fund.
• National catastrophic health insurance plan.
• Government subsidies.
• Government plays proactive roles in regulating supply and price of healthcare products.
In recent years, Singaporeans have benefited from the country's economy success and more and more affluent Singaporeans are looking to private healthcare providers to cater for additional care, in addition to those provided by the public care.
There are 10 public (government) hospitals, some 13 private hospitals and a sprinkling of specialist clinics in Singapore; all are structured to dispense different medical assistance (at varying cost) according to patients needs.
There is no restriction applied to its residents in terms of access to government or private medical facilities for medical care. All patients in Singapore are also assured of access and treatment in all 24-hours accident and emergency departments run by the government hospitals.
Singapore is reputed to have the finest medical facilities in the world, all staffed by qualified medical professionals and nurses, usually trained by internationally renowned medical institutions.