Mr Robin Yiu asked the Government to consider subsiding health screenings for the elderly with chronic conditions ("Subsidise health screenings"; Forum Online, Jan 25).
Health screening is important to help detect disease before any symptoms are present. Under the Health Promotion Board's (HPB) Screen For Life programme, recommended screening tests for chronic conditions - namely hypertension, diabetes and lipid disorders - are offered at affordable rates.
Singapore citizens and permanent residents of the recommended age of 40 years or older will receive a letter from the HPB to invite them to go for health screening.
Persons, including the elderly, who are eligible for health screening and are Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) or Pioneer Generation cardholders, can receive free screening tests at participating Chas general practitioners' (GP) clinics. They also enjoy subsidies of up to $28.50 per consultation, for up to two screening-related consultations a year.
Those who are not pioneers or on Chas will still be able to access affordable screening tests at these clinics.
Mr Yiu was especially concerned about the cost of care for the elderly who already have chronic diseases.
Elderly patients who are already following up with their regular doctors to manage their chronic conditions can enjoy subsidies at the polyclinics or at Chas GP clinics (if they are eligible for Chas/Pioneer Generation benefits).
They can also use their Medisave (up to $400 per account per year) for the management of 19 selected chronic conditions under the Chronic Disease Management Programme at Medisave-accredited clinics.
Lim Bee Khim (Ms)
Ministry of Health