SINGAPORE - A scheme to encourage those with less serious conditions to visit General Practitioners (GP) first has resulted in a 10 per cent drop in the number of such cases at Changi General Hospital's (CGH) emergency department.
Since GPFirst started in January, the number of self-referrals has also dropped by nearly 12 per cent.
The scheme is a partnership between the Eastern Health Alliance, CGH, and 157 GP clinics. Those who visit GPs and are subsequently referred to the hospital get $50 off the usual $108 fee.
"This allows the A&E to optimise its resources for sicker patients," said Mr TK Udairam, group chief executive of the Eastern Health Alliance, the regional health system for people living in the eastern part of Singapore.
"More importantly, we are glad the public is gradually recognising that GPs are able to treat a wide range of medical conditions. This shift in behaviour and attitude will improve the overall delivery of health care in Singapore."