Subsidised eye screening for 5,000 Nee Soon residents

SINGAPORE - Older Nee Soon residents will get help in spotting eye problems under a five-year screening programme by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and Nee Soon GRC. Project Vision @ Nee Soon GRC will screen 5,000 residents aged over 50 who are not yet seeing doctors for pre-existing eye conditions.

The hospital and the constituency signed a Memorandum of Understanding for this tie-up on Sunday morning. The project marks the 10th annual Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Week, which ended on Sunday.

AMD is the third most common cause of blindness in Singapore for people aged over 60. The degenerative eye condition causes the centre of one's vision to be distorted or lost, but does not lead to total loss of sight.

Along with cataracts and glaucoma, it is one of several age-related eye conditions that will be screened for. Nee Soon GRC will subsidise half of the $6 screening fee, with residents paying the other half.

"Eye care is usually not prescribed as part of a health screening package," noted Dr Yip Chee Chew, head of KTPH's Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. "We hope that through this initiative, more people will become aware of the importance of preventive eye screening, especially when our population is ageing."

The MOU signing was witnessed by Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam, along with other Nee Soon GRC Members of Parliament. Earlier that morning, Mr Shanmugam had flagged off an AMD Awareness brisk walk for 200 residents, starting and ending at Chong Pang Community Club.

Project Vision is part of the GRC's elderly-focused campaign, launched in June this year, said Mr Shanmugam.

"Today's collaboration offers age-related eye condition screening at a highly subsidised rate," he said. "It marks another step towards delivering on our promise."