Better integration of healthcare beyond hospitals needed: Gan Kim Yong

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong at the ground breaking ceremony for new Sengkang General Hospital at the open field at the cross junction of Sengkang East Way and Sengkang East Road on Oct 27, 2013. Steps to achieve better integration of care beyond hos
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong at the ground breaking ceremony for new Sengkang General Hospital at the open field at the cross junction of Sengkang East Way and Sengkang East Road on Oct 27, 2013. Steps to achieve better integration of care beyond hospital walls have seen some progress, although more can still be done, said Mr Gan on Friday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG 

Steps to achieve better integration of care beyond hospital walls have seen some progress, although more can still be done, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Friday.

He noted that the needs of the elderly require close collaboration among the primary and long-term care sector which includes home care providers and general practitioners.

Examples of efforts to extend care beyond hospitals include SingHealth's Right Siting Programme, in which stable patients can continue their treatment at over 100 GP clinics, instead of having to go to the hospital. Meanwhile, a scheme providing caregiving help at the homes of just-discharged patients from Changi General Hospital has helped 130 patients so far.

Speaking at an international integrated care conference at Grand Copthorne Waterfront, Mr Gan added that it was also important the care remains affordable for patients. More than 1,000 experts attended the first World Congress on Integrated Care, which is being held here from Nov 7 to 9.