Parliament: More subsidised dental facilities in the offing to meet rising demand

A Pioneer Generation card holder at Clementi Polyclinic. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Subsidised dental treatments have been rising significantly. Dental attendances at polyclinics have also gone up from 149,000 in 2013 to 179,000 last year.

On top of that, last year there were more than half a million subsidised attendances at the 700 dental clinics under the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) where the Government pays part of the bill for card holders as well as for pioneers.

Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC) had asked about whether waiting times at polyclinics could be reduced.

Senior Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min said: "Most dental conditions are diagnosed and treated at the same sitting."

Dr Lam added that a minority who needed more extensive treatments would be given an appointment. When that is would depend on "the urgency of the condition".

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is also expanding public sector dental capacity, given the rising demand.

"This includes building more dental facilities in upcoming new polyclinics, such as Punggol Polyclinic, as well as expanding existing polyclinic dental facilities," said Dr Lam.

He promised: "We will continue to monitor and meet the primary dental care needs of Singaporeans through both our polyclinics and Chas dental clinics."

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