Human Security and Health in Singapore: Going Beyond a Fortress Mentality

Lee Koh and Simon Barraclough

Singapore has achieved high levels of human security, overcoming the socio-economic instability and poverty of its early days of independence in the mid 1960s. It is now a high-income, technologically advanced nation, providing its population with access to housing, healthcare and education. High standards of healthcare and positive indicators attest to population health security, despite the crisis of the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pandemic. Despite this enviable position, Singapore has not been noted for regional and global engagement with human security and human rights, although this insular outlook is beginning to change. It is argued here that Singapore, as an emerging international “health hub”, scientific and educational center, has both the capacity and motivation to play a greater role in supporting health security, both regionally and globally.