Singapore pools services to support elderly

Reshaping healthcare system for ageing population.

Singapore is pooling services to support to its ageing population. Doctors who provide primary care have launched a pilot programme, called the Primary Care Network, to share counselling, care coordination and administrative services. The Health Ministry is also “enhancing existing IT systems and online portals to make it more hassle-free for GPs to submit” subsidised care claims, said Dr. Lam Pin Min, the Minister of State for Health. “We are planning to develop a more holistic IT solution that could assist GPs with clinic management, enable the use of electronic medical records, and connect GPs to national [health] systems”, he added. Lam also urged the healthcare sector to build “geriatric and palliative care skillsets”, given the country’s ageing population. Singapore currently provides subsidised care to its citizens through the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS). “We have 900 GP clinics and 650 dental clinics that are on CHAS,” he said. A total of 650,000 citizens used the scheme last year. Since 2010, six Community Health Centres (CHCs) have also been set up to provide clinical support for chronic disease management, he said. These are mobile units that deliver eye and diabetic foot screening. Nurses also provide counselling services on self-care and treatment methods. Image by Fechi Fajardo, licensed under CC BY 2.0