Singapore launches public consultation for health reform on preventive care
KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 – The Singaporean government has launched public pledges to gather feedback from citizens on its plan to shift the country from curative hospital care to preventive care.
The country “Healthier SG” strategywhich was announced by Health Minister Ong Ye Kung in Parliament last March, aims to link every Singaporean to a single family doctor to develop personalized health plans with them.
The public’s opinions and suggestions on Healthier SG through an online survey or a series of five town hall meetings from May 26 to June 15 will be incorporated into a white paper to be tabled in Parliament later this year.
“Announced during the 2022 MOH Supply Committee debate, Healthier SG will help all Singaporeans take action for better health. We have built a good health system in Singapore, but we need to focus on better health and a better quality of life for all,” the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement. statement yesterday.
“Before these public consultations began, we engaged general practitioners (GPs) and senior management from our healthcare clusters to hear their perspectives, understand their concerns and co-create solutions.
“We also conducted over 100 in-depth one-on-one interviews with residents to understand how different circumstances and experiences may influence their views of Healthier SG.”
Ong told Parliament last March that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension and high cholesterol are increasing in Singapore amid an aging population.
“After 10 years of laying the foundations, plus a pandemic crisis, it is time for us to take the next big step. There is urgency to this because over the next 10 years, long after the dust of Covid-19 has settled, we will face our greatest health care challenge since our nation began – the deterioration of the health of the population,” the Singapore director said. Straits time quoted Ong as saying.
He noted that only three in five Singaporeans have a regular GP, citing studies that generally show better health and fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits for those with just one chosen GP.
According to Ong, three health care clusters in the country, each caring for up to 1.5 million people, will coordinate the GP registration program to ensure residents can get primary care close to at their home.
According to SG Healthier Websitethe government aims for all Singaporeans to have a trusted, lifelong relationship with their family doctor, who will help them develop a personalized health plan, encourage recommended health screenings and vaccinations, discuss health goals and discuss their health status and concerns. throughout their life course.
Under Healthier SG which targets registration with a GP of their choice, the government will also support GP clinic capabilities such as telemedicine, IT systems and workforce in primary and community care sectors, says Ong.
Three regional health clusters – Singaporean healthcare provider SingHealth, National University Health System and National Healthcare Group – will work to develop an integrated health and social ecosystem in their region.
They will partner with various agencies such as the Health Promotion Council, Agency for Integrated Care, People’s Association, Sports SG and the National Parks Council, as well as social and community partners to support individual health goals.
“To begin with, Singaporeans could access more physical activity and healthier diets, and choose the activities that suit them best,” a statement from Healthier SG said.
“For older people, regional health clusters and their family doctors will advise them on how to participate in healthy activities and programs, such as at the local aged care centre.”
Healthier SG also plans to increase access to and capacity for mental health services in the community and hospitals; and strengthen the health and well-being of children and mothers through family support programs, as well as community-based care for the elderly.
Healthier SG further plans to protect the well-being and prevent abuse and harassment of healthcare workers, including junior doctors.
The Singaporean government wants to invest in technology to enable people with chronic conditions to monitor their condition from home, as well as to facilitate data sharing between different healthcare providers.
Healthier SG discusses other efforts to promote healthier living, such as reducing sugar consumption by expanding labeling requirements and advertising bans to include freshly made beverages; increasing low-sodium food alternatives; encouraging physical activity; and increase public education about the harms of vaping.
Health promotion will also be strengthened for low-income families, in addition to creating a SG$1.5 million fund for targeted health promotion programs run by community volunteers.
Healthier SG aims to improve support for women and couples, for example by providing access to fertility health information, funding support for certain types of preimplantation genetic testing and improving psychosocial support for couples undergoing fertility treatments.