Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014
Opinion
 
Chin Jing Jih

Pioneering chance for docs to boost seniors' quality of life

With the implementation of the Pioneer Generation Package, doctors will have an enhanced responsibility to ensure that treatment decisions are supported by a combination of good evidence, sound judgment and cost-effective analyses.

Published on Apr 9, 2014 7:33 AM
 
At the clinic and bedside, doctors should help patients select treatments known to be effective. They should also minimise the use of marginally beneficial tests or interventions unless there is no better option. -- ST FILE PHOTO

The recently announced Pioneer Generation Package (or "the Package") has generated much excitement and buzz. As the Package primarily fortifies health-care benefits for a well-defined cohort of senior citizens, it has naturally generated much discussion among medical practitioners and other health-care providers.

Concerns about the Package

ONE of the issues raised about the Package is whether it signals a shift towards "medical welfarism". But this concern has quite been dispelled by the key conditions of the Package itself.

First, it is a one-off gift to a very clearly delineated cohort of senior citizens, in honour of their role in nation-building. The number of individuals eligible for the Package is also limited.

 
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Background story

Doctors should be happy if the Package results in an increase in appropriate treatments for seniors who previously declined them due to affordability issues.