Coronavirus: More health services, including some surgical and dental procedures, vaccinations, to resume from June 2

The services will be prioritised by healthcare providers based on necessity and available capacity.
The services will be prioritised by healthcare providers based on necessity and available capacity.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans will be able to access healthcare services such as cancer screening, surgical operations for advanced cataracts, flu vaccinations and dental procedures from June 2, as measures are eased with the country exiting the circuit breaker.

These services include specialist outpatient, allied health, community-based and preventive health services, as well as medical procedures and chronic disease management, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Tuesday (May 19).

Other examples of procedures which can proceed are joint operations for patients with severe impairment, scopes for high-risk groups and diabetic foot screening.

They will be prioritised by healthcare providers based on necessity and available capacity, and appropriate safe distancing and precautionary measures have to be taken, said MOH.

For instance, measures to minimise aerosol generation during dental services have to be in place.

Complementary healthcare services will also resume for one-to-one sessions and by appointment, and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) acupuncture will be allowed for all conditions, said MOH.

The ministry will inform service providers of the changes through its regular channels, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong at a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

"Our seniors are a particularly vulnerable group, and we must continue to take precautions to protect them," said Mr Gan, who announced that essential senior services such as residential care and home care services will continue.

Senior activity centres will also resume some activities to ensure the psychological well-being of older folk, especially those with little or no support.

 
 
 
 

But all other senior-centric activities such as group exercises or karaoke will continue to be suspended, he added.

Community-based centre services for persons with disabilities will gradually reopen to serve those who need them, with safe distancing measures in place, said MOH.

Activities, where needed, will also be held in smaller groups, and people who have medical conditions should stay home to receive home-based support.

Staff will continue to take necessary precautions, including the wearing of masks, maintaining good personal hygiene and ensuring regular cleaning of activity equipment and shared spaces. Further details will be provided by the respective agencies and centres, MOH added.

The multi-ministry task force handling Covid-19 said on Tuesday that the reopening of Singapore's economy will happen in phases after the end of the circuit breaker period on June 1, with the Government monitoring the number of new Covid-19 cases carefully to decide when more restrictions can be lifted.

The country's social distancing and measures to reduce transmission of the virus came into force on April 7 and were to last till May 4. This was later tightened and extended to June 1, though restrictions on some activities, including the sale of retail products by TCM halls, and home-based businesses, have been progressively eased from May 5.