Study shows Singaporeans willing to pay more for pain management than longer life span
Singaporeans are willing to pay more for pain management and quality of healthcare than longer life span.
That's the finding from a study on end-of-life care preferences presented here at a conference this morning.
Researchers interviewed 522 Singaporeans aged 50 and above to find out how important factors such as life expectancy, pain management, and cost of treatment are in affecting decisions for palliative care.
Respondents were given hypothetical scenarios where they could trade off some factors against others.
The researchers pegged a monetary value to the various factors by seeing how people would change their course of treatment if the cost differed.
As a result, on average, management of severe pain was valued at $24,000 a year, while quality healthcare was valued at $21,600 year.
And it found that on average, an additional year of life was only worth $9,100 to older Singaporeans if they were critically ill.
Researcher Dr Chetna Malhotra from the Lien Centre for Palliative Care says the findings can have implications on how the government allocates resources in providing end-of-life care for Singaporeans.
"We find that the willingness to pay - to extend life by one year is really low, about $9000, which is kind of much lower than the commonly accepted values of $50,000, per qualy, which is the cut off value that we use when introducing the new life extending treatment in any country and which governments would usually subsidise."
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