Free health screenings in Jurong draw 600

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam (in purple) visiting an eye screening station at yesterday's health carnival in Jurong. He noted that elderly residents were especially appreciative of such neighbourhood fairs as they bring health service
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam (in purple) visiting an eye screening station at yesterday's health carnival in Jurong. He noted that elderly residents were especially appreciative of such neighbourhood fairs as they bring health services close to their homes.PHOTO: FULLERTON HEALTHCARE

A health carnival held in Jurong yesterday morning saw about 600 residents turning up to enjoy free health screenings.

Singaporean residents of Jurong GRC were offered a free cataract screening, as well as a health screening to check their body mass index, blood pressure and blood glucose for a nominal $2. The fee was waived for needy families.

There was also a health talk on alternative medicine in managing chronic diseases.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is an MP for Jurong GRC, said of the carnival: "The elderly are especially appreciative because this is held close to their homes."

He added that the event was particularly helpful for low-income groups, in addition to the benefits they enjoy under the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas).

The scheme enables Singaporeans from lower- to middle-income households and Pioneer Generation cardholders to receive subsidies for medical and dental care at participating clinics near their homes.

Yesterday's carnival was part of the Project Big Heart initiative, which aims to provide free or cheap medical consultation and medicine to low-income and elderly residents with chronic illnesses.

More than 1,000 patients have been treated since the project was launched last year. The project is a joint initiative among Jurong Central Grassroots Organisations, Fullerton Healthcare and voluntary welfare group Loving Heart Multi-Service Centre (Jurong).

Tan Weizhen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 29, 2016, with the headline 'Free health screenings in Jurong draw 600'. Print Edition | Subscribe