Private healthcare firm takes over Family Medicine Clinic

Dr Gilbert Yeo attending to Mr Sreedharan, who has diabetes and heart conditions. Mr Sreedharan has been visiting Ang Mo Kio FMC since September 2013 and appreciates the clinic's personalised approach.
Dr Gilbert Yeo attending to Mr Sreedharan, who has diabetes and heart conditions. Mr Sreedharan has been visiting Ang Mo Kio FMC since September 2013 and appreciates the clinic's personalised approach.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

A private healthcare operator will take over a Family Medicine Clinic (FMC) for the first time next month.

Parkway Shenton has been partnering the National Healthcare Group (NHG) to run Ang Mo Kio FMC since it was set up in April 2013 and will now handle its daily operations and manpower management. The announcement was made at a handover ceremony yesterday morning.

Ang Mo Kio FMC has treated almost 8,000 patients to date.

The seven FMCs in Singapore cater to patients with chronic conditions, who would previously have gone to specialist outpatient clinics at hospitals.

Two nurses and three patient service associates from Parkway Shenton will join the clinic.

NHG will continue to provide laboratory, pharmacy and allied health services, such as dietary counselling.

There are also plans to increase the number of family physicians at the clinic, who are all from Parkway Shenton, from three to five by the end of this year.

Dr Lew Yii Jen, the senior director of clinical services at National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP), said the public-private partnership has been mutually beneficial.

Staff from Parkway Shenton learnt "how we manage the patients in a holistic manner. We also learnt how (private operators) provide personalised services and manage patients in a smaller setting", said Dr Lew.

Mr V. K. Sreedharan, who has diabetes and heart conditions, has been visiting Ang Mo Kio FMC since September 2013 after a referral from Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic.

He appreciates the clinic's personalised approach.

"I've been seeing the same doctor for the past few years and he can even remember my medical history and condition without checking the computer for my records," said the 82-year-old part-time cashier, who visits the clinic about once every four months.

Patients with Pioneer Generation and Community Health Assist Scheme cards will continue to receive subsidies at Ang Mo Kio FMC, and eligible patients can also use Medisave to defray expenses.

The other FMCs are located in Bedok, Clementi, Lakeside, Serangoon, Chinatown and Hougang.

Yuen Sin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 28, 2016, with the headline 'Private healthcare firm takes over Family Medicine Clinic'. Print Edition | Subscribe