The new Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic was given its official opening yesterday, offering greater accessibility to elderly and disabled patients as well as an expanded team-based healthcare system.
The $44 million polyclinic began operations in January after moving from Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 to a facility in Ang Mo Kio Central 2, which at 8,752 sq m is three times bigger.
It sees a total of 1,500 patients every day - 200 more than at its previous site - and more than a third are over 65 years old.
The new polyclinic is designed to cater to this group, with more lifts, handrails, non-slip flooring and wider passageways.
It is also fitted with a $70,000 wheelchair tilter, to eliminate the inconvenience of transferring patients who are wheelchair users to a dental chair.
The polyclinic has also expanded its team-based care model, which was introduced at National Healthcare Group polyclinics three years ago.
In an effort to avoid disruption to treatment, each patient with a chronic ailment is assigned a specific healthcare team which will manage his or her case.
Each team is made up of two family physicians, a care manager and care coordinator.
Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic initially had four teams helping 20,000 patients but this has now been expanded to six teams looking after 30,000 patients.
The system has already been a big help to 48-year-old diabetes patient Leon Stewart.
"It is much more comfortable (than seeing a different doctor each time) because the same doctor has all my medical records and can keep track of my progress," said the youth pastor, who shed nearly 20kg over six months and reduced his blood sugar levels.
The polyclinic is also the first to have a senior care centre located within its premises.
Patients can be referred to the centre - run by St Luke's ElderCare - for day care, day rehabilitation and home care services.
The official opening of the polyclinic - which also features new physiotherapy and podiatry services - was attended by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Health.