What You Should Know About Singapore’s New Healthcare Reform Plan

What You Should Know About Singapore’s New Healthcare Reform Plan
The voluntary national primary care program will be open to those aged 60 and up in the second half of 2023, before being gradually expanded to those aged 40 to 59 over the next two years.

Healthier Singapore’s New Healthcare Reform Plan: What You Need to Know
To encourage active lifestyles, public infrastructure such as sports facilities, parks, and park connectors are being improved.
SINGAPORE: On Wednesday, Parliament continued its debate on a White Paper outlining the strategy and key actions for reforming Singapore’s healthcare system (Oct 5).

The new strategy, called Healthier SG, focuses heavily on preventive care and aims to empower citizens to take charge of their own healthcare by enrolling them in a single doctor who will support them in their health needs throughout their lives.

It comes at a time when Singapore is dealing with the challenges of an aging population and the growing impact of chronic disease.

Those who choose to enroll in Healthier SG, a voluntary program, will be able to schedule a face-to-face onboarding health consultation, which the government will pay for.

Concerns about the healthcare reform plan include mental health support and getting the elderly on a digital platform.

Under the Healthier Singapore initiative, free screenings for diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers are available.
During the Healthier SG debate, which began on Tuesday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung outlined the key components of the healthcare reform plan.

Here’s what you should know:

ONE FAMILY DOCTOR Healthier Singapore aims for everyone to have one family physician and one health plan.

Each resident selects their own family doctor or clinic under the plan. They can then create health plans with their doctors, who will continue to monitor their progress through follow-ups.

This will include an overview of their health status, medical needs, and health goals, as well as a plan of action, such as lifestyle changes or weight management.

The hope is that this will assist family doctors in developing strong relationships with their patients, allowing them to play a larger role in preventive care.

Enrollment will begin in the second half of 2023, beginning with residents aged 60 and older and gradually expanding to those aged 40 to 59.

Residents will have the option to change their enrolled doctor if they need to, such as if they move or find a more suitable doctor.

Those who are enrolled with a doctor can continue to see other doctors, including specialists who treat their chronic illnesses.

The government will also take steps to manage enrolment demand at GP clinics and polyclinics, in response to residents’ concerns that they might be pushed out if their regular doctor is in high demand.

This includes collaborating with clinics to determine who their regular patients are and conducting the enrolment process in stages to avoid overcrowding.

Mr. Ong also encouraged people to enroll early in order to select their preferred clinics.

Residents who enroll in Healthier SG will receive free annual check-ups with their family doctor, as well as nationally recommended health screenings and vaccinations.

Three common chronic conditions as well as some cancers are included in the screening.

Those with specific risk factors may be referred for additional testing.

Complex screenings like colonoscopies will be heavily subsidized in hospitals but will not be free.

Immunizations include influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations for those 65 and older, as well as those with specific medical conditions.

Those who use MediSave to pay for chronic illness treatment will no longer be required to pay 15% of the bill in cash.

They will instead be able to pay the full amount using MediSave.
The Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) will receive an additional subsidy tier for common chronic drugs and drug price limits.

This is to level the significant price difference in drugs between GP clinics and polyclinics, so that residents will be encouraged to continue seeing their preferred family doctor.

This will be available to all enrolled Singaporean CHAS card holders, including Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation card holders.

Mr Ong stated that the prices will not be able to equalize “down to the last cent” because the basis for calculating subsidies at polyclinics and CHAS are different.

However, he stated that the current price disparity between polyclinics and private GP clinics will be “substantially” reduced.

More health-related activities will be organized by community partners such as the People’s Association and Sport Singapore. Ball games and brisk walking are examples, as are Zumba classes and community gardening.

To encourage active lifestyles, public infrastructure such as sports facilities, parks, and park connectors are being improved.

Health points will be awarded for physical activity and healthier food purchases to encourage residents to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. These can then be redeemed for rewards from participating merchants, such as supermarkets and shopping malls.

The Healthy 365 app, which is currently used for initiatives like the National Steps Challenge and the Eat Drink Shop Healthy Challenge, will also be improved to include features like calorie tracking.

To make it more accessible to the general public, it has also been made compatible with digital health apps such as Apple Health Kit, Fitbit, and Samsung Health.

Healthcare United (Toa Payoh Clinic) will be fully supportive of the Healthier SG reform plan. It not only create a better healthcare system and also make the cost for seeing patient more affordable.

Beside the normal GP Medicine, that Healthcare united also provide other services such as Health Screening, Work permit and medical check, vaccination

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