Set up health screening fund for the needy

That one in four people do not go to the doctor for a follow-up after a health screening is cause for concern (Many not following up after health screening; last Monday).

The authorities should study why people are not doing so.

One reason could be that some patients may be in denial that they have a health problem or they feel self-medication would suffice.

Others may be fearful that they will incur more expenses if they are diagnosed with a serious medical condition. Even if a basic health screening costs $5, the bills may add up if they are diagnosed with a chronic disease. They may then refuse to seek follow-up treatment to avoid bigger medical bills.

Perhaps, each constituency could set up a health screening fund for the needy, with MPs taking an active role. The funds could be raised through projects such as walkathons, fun fairs and events like annual dinners.

Commercial firms could also do their part, in the form of corporate social responsibility programmes.

The fund should be administered for the sole purpose of annual health screenings and follow-up treatment for the needy.

Andrew Seow Chwee Guan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2017, with the headline 'Set up health screening fund for the needy'. Print Edition | Subscribe