7th Community Health Centre to open

Visitors to the carnival at Choa Chu Kang Community Club yesterday having fun playing board games, while Health Minister Gan Kim Yong (second from left) looked on. Mr Gan said a family's regular GP can be a "trusted partner", adding: "As they know ou
Visitors to the carnival at Choa Chu Kang Community Club yesterday having fun playing board games, while Health Minister Gan Kim Yong (second from left) looked on. Mr Gan said a family's regular GP can be a "trusted partner", adding: "As they know our family better, they are also able to take into consideration our family needs and risks and advise us better."ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

It'll be set up in May to serve Ang Mo Kio residents with chronic conditions

A seventh Community Health Centre (CHC) will be set up to serve Ang Mo Kio residents from May, the Agency for Integrated Care announced yesterday.

Based at Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital, the centre will help local residents with chronic conditions.

Dr Wong Kirk Chuan, the agency's deputy chief executive, said further details will be given when the centre is launched.

The other six - located in Jurong East, Tiong Bahru, Bedok North, Bedok South, Tampines and the National Healthcare Group Mobile CHC - serve over 14,000 people.

They offer services such as diabetic foot screening, physiotherapy and nurse counselling.

Eligible patients can receive subsidies under the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas), which reduces payments for Pioneers and low- to middle-income Singaporeans at more than 1,500 participating general practitioner (GP) and dental clinics.

Subsidies totalling $167 million were given out under the scheme last year, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said yesterday - compared with the $25 million in subsidies that beneficiaries received in 2013.

Some 650,000 Singaporeans were helped by the scheme in 2015, or nearly half of around 1.4 million eligible Chas or Pioneer Generation card holders.

Subsidies totalling $167 million were given out under the Community Health Assist Scheme last year... compared with the $25 million in subsidies that beneficiaries received in 2013.

Mr Gan, who is an MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC, told families at a carnival at Choa Chu Kang Community Club that a family's regular GP can be a "trusted partner".

"As they know our family better, they are also able to take into consideration our family needs and risks and advise us better," he said.

The number of chronic patients covered by Chas who sought care at Chas GPs rose to 160,000 last year, up from 107,000 in 2014 when the age criterion was removed, and Chas benefits were extended to Pioneers.

Part-time cleaner and school bus attendant Rajeswari, 40, who goes by one name, uses Chas subsidies when taking her three children to see a GP, sometimes up to three times a month.

Each visit to the doctor could cost $50 but Ms Rajeswari said she pays only around half that amount after subsidies, saving her a substantial portion of her monthly $500 pay. The single mother is the sole breadwinner after her husband died four years ago.

"I can use the extra money to help my children buy school items," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2016, with the headline '7th Community Health Centre to open'. Print Edition | Subscribe