Forum: Need to have better integration across healthcare clusters

As a caregiver of two elderly parents with different ailments, I often have to take them to different restructured hospitals for their appointments.

Navigating the different apps developed by the different public healthcare clusters - SingHealth, National Healthcare Group and National University Health System - is something that is really confusing for caregivers like myself, let alone our elderly parents.

Each cluster has its own processes, appointment systems and payment systems which are very different from the others.

When Singapore's public healthcare sector was reorganised into three integrated clusters in 2017, then Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the move would better optimise resources and capabilities, and provide more comprehensive and patient-centred care to meet Singaporeans' evolving needs.

But the three clusters have their own sets of computer systems and components for collecting, storing and processing data, and for providing information, knowledge and digital products such as their apps.

As creating such information systems and apps are costly affairs, I don't see how this will result in cost savings for patients as there will be duplication of effort and work by the different clusters.

We should look into ways to better integrate systems across the three clusters.

Loh Shurn Lin

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