Future requirements for and supply of ophthalmologists for an aging population in Singapore.


BACKGROUND: Singapore's population, as that of many other countries, is aging; this is likely to lead to an increase in eye diseases and the demand for eye care. Since ophthalmologist training is long and expensive, early planning is essential. This paper forecasts workforce and training requirements for Singapore up to the year 2040 under several plausible future scenarios. METHODS: The Singapore Eye Care Workforce Model was created as a continuous time compartment model with explicit workforce stocks using system dynamics. The model has three modules: prevalence of eye disease, demand, and workforce requirements. The model is used to simulate the prevalence of eye diseases, patient visits, and workforce requirements for the public sector under different scenarios in order to determine training requirements. RESULTS: Four scenarios were constructed. Under the baseline business-as-usual scenario, the required number of ophthalmologists is projected to increase by 117% from 2015 to 2040. Under the current policy scenario (assuming an increase of service uptake due to increased awareness, availability, and accessibility of eye care services), the increase will be 175%, while under the new model of care scenario (considering the additional effect of providing some services by non-ophthalmologists) the increase will only be 150%. The moderated workload scenario (assuming in addition a reduction of the clinical workload) projects an increase in the required number of ophthalmologists of 192% by 2040. Considering the uncertainties in the projected demand for eye care services, under the business-as-usual scenario, a residency intake of 8-22 residents per year is required, 17-21 under the current policy scenario, 14-18 under the new model of care scenario, and, under the moderated workload scenario, an intake of 18-23 residents per year is required. CONCLUSIONS: The results show that under all scenarios considered, Singapore's aging and growing population will result in an almost doubling of the number of Singaporeans with eye conditions, a significant increase in public sector eye care demand and, consequently, a greater requirement for ophthalmologists.





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Publication Info

Ansah, John P, Dirk De Korne, Steffen Bayer, Chong Pan, Thiyagarajan Jayabaskar, David B Matchar, Nicola Lew, Andrew Phua, et al. (2015). Future requirements for and supply of ophthalmologists for an aging population in Singapore. Hum Resour Health, 13. p. 86. 10.1186/s12960-015-0085-4 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11683.

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David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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