Towards a sustainable healthcare system

Mr Mah Yi Hui, 21, will be studying physiotherapy at University of Sydney, while Ms Eleanor Teo, 20, will be studying medical social work at NUS, both under the Healthcare Merit Scholarship.
Mr Mah Yi Hui, 21, will be studying physiotherapy at University of Sydney, while Ms Eleanor Teo, 20, will be studying medical social work at NUS, both under the Healthcare Merit Scholarship.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

A sustainable healthcare system with a focus on primary care and developing the healthcare workforce is needed to meet the changing needs of Singapore's ageing population, said Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong yesterday.

This requires a transformation of the healthcare system from one that is built around the hospital, to one aimed at meeting the needs of Singaporeans and keeping them in the community. "We are focusing on moving beyond providing quality to enhance the value of our healthcare by providing care appropriate to the needs of Singaporeans (and)...we are moving beyond healthcare to focus on providing good health for all Singaporeans," he said. Mr Gan was speaking at the Healthcare Scholarships Award Ceremony at Raffles City Convention Centre, where 305 local tertiary, undergraduate and graduate students received MOH Holdings scholarships in healthcare.

In growing the healthcare manpower, he said it was important to train more medical specialists, such as family physicians, geriatric and internal medicine specialists, and advanced practice nurses, in addition to attracting Singaporean students studying overseas in healthcare-related disciplines to return here to work.

Two new scholarships for students in medicine and dentistry were launched.

The Public Service Commission and Ministry of Health (MOH) have rolled out the scholarships for students who have completed at least one year of studies in medicine or dentistry programmes at the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, or are currently pursuing their Doctor of Medicine studies at Duke-NUS Medical School.

The scholarships are open to Singaporeans or Singapore permanent residents who will take up citizenship, and come with a six-year bond. Applications for the scholarships open in September and end in April next year.

Felicia Choo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'Towards a sustainable healthcare system'. Print Edition | Subscribe