Sometimes, a patient needs additional check-ups or tests that are not available at the general practitioner's (GP's) clinic.
For instance, someone with back pain may require physiotherapy, while a diabetes sufferer has to get his eyes screened regularly.
A GP can refer these patients to a Community Health Centre (CHC) for these services, which are carried out by nurses, dietitians and physiotherapists.
• The patient sees his GP, who identifies the healthcare service needed.
• The doctor refers the patient to a CHC that is, for instance, near his house.
• An appointment is confirmed by the centre. • On the day of the appointment, the patient undergoes the tests requested by the doctor.
• Test results are sent to the doctor within two weeks.
• The GP reviews the results and follows up with the patient. For instance, if the results are abnormal, he may refer the patient to a specialist at a hospital.
There are six centres - in Bedok North, Bedok South, Tampines, Jurong East, Tiong Bahru and a mobile clinic covering the following areas: Bishan, Toa Payoh, Geylang, Serangoon, Ang Mo Kio, Whampoa, Thomson, Hougang and Kallang.
Each centre offers its own suite of services, which can include:
• Diabetic retinal photography
• Diabetic foot screening
• Nurse counselling
• Mental well-being management
• X-ray scans
• Ultrasound scans
As the centres are run by different healthcare providers, the rates may differ. However, prices are similar to polyclinic rates. Those under the Community Health Assist Scheme, as well as Pioneer Generation cardholders, can enjoy further subsidies.
(Source: Agency For Integrated Care)
Poon Chian Hui