MOH's Addendum to President's Address: More healthcare facilities by 2020; one family doctor for each person

Patients waiting for their medicine at the pharmacy of Tampines Polyclinic.
Patients waiting for their medicine at the pharmacy of Tampines Polyclinic.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Health (MOH) will step up efforts to keep Singaporeans healthy and boost healthcare standards in the next five years.

These efforts include bumping up capacity both inside and out of hospitals, making sure that each person has a regular family doctor familiar with their needs, and working out the details of the standard private Integrated Shield Plan (IP) that will build on MediShield Life.

The ministry outlined these plans on Wednesday (Jan 20) in its Addendum to President Tony Tan Keng Yam's address to Parliament.

The President's address last Friday (Jan 15) outlined the Government's programmes for the next five years and beyond.

MOH also pledged to add more healthcare facilities from now till 2020, including adding more places to community and home care, to cater to the needs of an ageing population.

Here's a summary of the plans MOH outlined.

Lead healthy and fulfilling lives

* Step up efforts with other government agencies to reduce obesity and smoking, and encourage healthy lifestyle

* Work with various parties to jointly implement the Action Plan for Successful Ageing, which will improve the city's infrastructure for the benefit of seniors, among other things

Make healthcare more convenient and accessible

* Achieve "One Singaporean, One Family Doctor" vision. Each person to have a regular family doctor familiar with their needs

* Work closely with primary care community to strengthen the sector and provide convenient, affordable and good quality care

Reshape healthcare delivery

* Build on six regional health systems - each anchored by a public hospital - to smoothen the transition between acute hospitals, long-term care facilities, and patients' own homes

* Develop a future-ready healthcare workforce by leveraging on SkillsFuture initiatives

* Invest in development of telehealth and robotics for higher productivity

Invest in healthcare research and innovations

*Invest in research to improve care delivery, and develop innovative methods to help Singaporeans remain healthy as average lifespan increases

Enhance accessibility and affordability

* From now till 2020, MOH will add more than 10,000 beds in acute hospitals, community hospitals and nursing homes. Over 7,000 places to be added to community care, home care, and palliative home care

* Develop a standardised private Integrated Shield Plan to follow up on the introduction of MediShield Life last November

* Focus on ensuring that new treatments, drugs, devices/implants and medical technology are effective in improving health outcomes