Forum: Grant for designated clinics just a bonus for fulfilling duty

All doctors in Singapore have, in the past few months, been actively engaged in the containment and management of the coronavirus in their own ways (Non-designated clinics in Covid-19 fight also deserve $10,000 grant, by Dr Lawrence Soh Eng Liong, June 29).

Clinics registered as Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs) work within a well-defined algorithm and are governed by strict prescription and charge regimens.

We perform ordinary tasks extraordinarily well using best prescribed practices, all the while feeding data instantaneously into the national health grid for rapid interventional, epidemiological responses.

There is some administrative hassle, but this is more than made up for by informational and equipment support.

Even as doctors supported the Government in its management policies through several haze episodes and influenza epidemics under other schemes before all these were subsumed under the banner of PHPCs, we never asked for special treatment or remuneration - it was all part of the territory for being health workers.

The one-off grant of $10,000 given by the Government is just icing on the cake for doctors who are just doing their job as they are trained to do.

I would suggest that Dr Soh enrol his practice as a PHPC, or, better still, in the Swab and Send Home programme as well, and for the Government to offer the same $10,000 grant in a few months to all other clinics signing up to be PHPCs now.

The fight against Covid-19 is still in its infancy, and even after the virus is tamed, there will always be the next public health issue to tackle.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

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