The Straits Times says

Develop primary care to meet needs

Citizens would be gratified by the announcement that at least 30 polyclinics will be available by 2030, an increase from the current 20. Four would be opened in Eunos, Kallang, Sembawang and Bukit Panjang in two years. Another two polyclinics would open in Nee Soon Central and Tampines North by 2023, with four to six more planned elsewhere, including in the western and central parts of Singapore. This expansion is a worthwhile investment that will help bring primary healthcare closer to people's homes and keep medical costs down for the average Singaporean.

Polyclinics offer subsidised care for those requiring outpatient medical treatment and reviews after they have been discharged from hospital. Their services include health screening in the form of blood tests, X-rays and other diagnostic tests, immunisation, pharmaceutical services and health education. When patients are in need of specialised care, initial assessments are done at polyclinics before patients are referred to hospitals. For urgent attention, patients could go to private medical clinics and hospitals - which many simply cannot afford - or to government hospitals, which are obliged to assess all who arrive there.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2018, with the headline 'Develop primary care to meet needs'. Print Edition | Subscribe