New family medicine clinic opens officially in Chinatown

Mr Kamari Hassan (right), a retired mechanic, going through a medical check-up with his family doctor, Dr Gilbert Yeo, at the Family Medicine Clinic (FMC) Ang Mo Kio. Singapore's fifth FMC opened officially at Chinatown Point on Thursday, adding to e
Mr Kamari Hassan (right), a retired mechanic, going through a medical check-up with his family doctor, Dr Gilbert Yeo, at the Family Medicine Clinic (FMC) Ang Mo Kio. Singapore's fifth FMC opened officially at Chinatown Point on Thursday, adding to existing ones in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Clementi and Lakeside. -- FILE PHOTO: NATIONAL HEALTHCARE GROUP

Singapore's fifth family medicine clinic (FMC) opened officially at Chinatown Point on Thursday, adding to existing ones in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Clementi and Lakeside.

The clinic, which caters mainly to patients referred by hospitals or polyclinics, has seen more than 630 patient visits since it began operations in January.

Such family medicine clinics cater to patients with chronic conditions, who would previously have to go to specialist outpatient clinics at hospitals.

Speciality centres within the SingHealth group, like the National Heart Centre Singapore, will also begin referring patients to the FMC at Chinatown Point.

One such patient is 66, Madam Fong Wai Yuen, who has been visiting the clinic since January for chronic conditions like high blood pressure.

"Every time I come here, I get to see the same doctor," she said. "It's very good because they know your condition well."

The Chinatown FMC was set up by SingHealth and TriLink FMC, a private general practitioner group. These clinics represent a public-private partnership, while clinics are usually privately run.

"Faced with an ageing population, models of care like the FMC enable private practitioners to play a bigger role, especially in chronic disease management," said Dr Loke Kam Weng, director of TriLink FMC and senior family physician at the new clinic in Chinatown.