New programme offers seniors subsidised health checks, aids

Madam Sudiah Sapii, 76, getting her teeth checked by a volunteer at a health screening yesterday at Kampung Admiralty, where Project Silver Screen was launched. Around 200 people from the neighbourhood took the chance to have their vision, hearing an
Madam Sudiah Sapii, 76, getting her teeth checked by a volunteer at a health screening yesterday at Kampung Admiralty, where Project Silver Screen was launched. Around 200 people from the neighbourhood took the chance to have their vision, hearing and oral health checked.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

More seniors are set to benefit from health screenings, with the launch of a new partnership between the Ministry of Health (MOH), Temasek Foundation Cares and the business community.

Project Silver Screen was launched at Kampung Admiralty yesterday, and around 200 people from the neighbourhood took the chance to have their vision, hearing and oral health checked.

The programme, which is underpinned by a contribution of $35 million from Temasek and 11 corporate donors, will scale up the number of these checks across Singapore.

It will also help subsidise the cost of the screening and the functional aids some seniors might need.

The programme is free for Pioneer Generation citizens.

For Singaporeans who are 60 and above, it costs $2 for Community Health Assist Scheme card holders and $5 for others.

HEALTHY, INDEPENDENT LIVING

Beyond chronic conditions, we are also concerned about how to help them maintain the functional abilities so that they can remain active, remain engaged and have healthy living and be as independent as possible.

HEALTH MINISTER GAN KIM YONG

Project Silver Screen vouchers of between $15 and $200 will also be given to those who need aids such as spectacles, hearing aids and dentures.

This is over and above existing government subsidies and regardless of household income.

Seniors getting the health checks - also known as a functional screening - might then be referred to the relevant community or medical centres for further tests, such as for cataracts or glaucoma, if need be.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said at the launch that the programme will help seniors stay healthy longer.

"Beyond chronic conditions, we are also concerned about how to help them maintain the functional abilities so that they can remain active, remain engaged and have healthy living and be as independent as possible," he said.

 
 

"Through the functional screenings, we hope to be able to detect their conditions early and to prevent early deterioration.

"This way, we will be able to help our seniors stay healthy and stay well longer."

Around 23,000 seniors have attended the pilot programme for Project Silver Screen since January - an almost fivefold increase from last year, according to the MOH.

The pilot phase found that many people were unaware they had issues with their vision, hearing or oral health.

About half of those attending the pilot screenings had vision issues, about 30 per cent had dental problems and 70 per cent had some form of hearing loss.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 20, 2018, with the headline 'New programme offers seniors subsidised health checks, aids'. Print Edition | Subscribe