The results of the 2010 patient satisfaction survey - performed by an independent survey company (not sure which one) - was published recently. Overall satisfaction with the public health sector remained high compared to previous years, although the larger hospitals (SGH, TTSH and NUH) play musical chairs for the bottom spot (SGH is "it" for 2010) regularly. The detailed scores for the service quality attributes (i.e. care coordination, skills of health professionals, care and concern shown, etc) are not published, but presumably dedicated teams at each hospital pore over these results in search of areas of improvement each year.
It is unclear what the results really mean, especially when the "flower hospital" (you have to click on the KTPH button on the banner at the top here) comes up tops. Well done, of course, when the former AH team duplicate their award-winning patient-pleasing ways in the new hospital. These surveys have gone on for a number of years, and a neutral and careful review of the pros and cons of such surveys in general can be found here (only the abstract). It is important to note that patients who are healthier tend to report higher satisfaction as opposed to those with improvements in health - a consideration for why tertiary hospitals tend to fare worse when placed in the same bracket as smaller secondary hospitals.
The other kind of surveys published by MOH are costs of procedures/hospitalizations for a fixed number of common clinical conditions. These may be useful for indirectly keeping costs down (or at least relative to the public sector standard) for the most part.
But surely it is time that we find out a bit more about technical quality? The data should be readily available for such reports by now. The US has had hospital rankings for ages. If I have breast cancer (touch wood), which center will provide me better and longer quality of life (hopefully without exotic and expensive chemotherapy)? If I need a knee implant, what are the infection rates at various hospitals? If I have leukemia (touch wood twice!), should I just go overseas for treatment? How likely am I to get unnecessary tests and treatment if I visit a public as opposed to private hospital (alright, data for this last question never gets collected or compared)? For a country that has one of the best reputations for healthcare in the region, such data are hard to find. But they can help drive competition in another important direction, i.e. by focusing on patient-centric clinical outcomes