Healthcare system needs to look at meeting needs of patients with chronic conditions

A patient visits Bukit Batok Polyclinic for her medication. The way healthcare is provided in Singapore currently needs to change, said Ms Tan Ching Yee, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NURIA LING&n
A patient visits Bukit Batok Polyclinic for her medication. The way healthcare is provided in Singapore currently needs to change, said Ms Tan Ching Yee, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NURIA LING 

The way healthcare is provided in Singapore currently needs to change, said Ms Tan Ching Yee, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday.

She noted that polyclinics are currently even treating people in their 40s for chronic ailments. "Change, because we will need to look after people with chronic conditions, help them manage well so that they can continue to have a good quality of life," she said.

To do this well, Singapore needs strong primary care to look after such people for the rest of their lives, she said at the official opening of the Family Medicine Academy at Bukit Batok Polyclinic.

The academy, the first of its kind here, will provide medical students with practice-based learning in a community setting. It will start with the inaugural batch of 54 students at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine who will spend a week there in their first semester. Students from the other two medical schools will also get training there.