Parliament Debate on ministries' budgets: Health

From The Backbench

NOMINATED MP TAN YIA SWAM
NOMINATED MP TAN YIA SWAM
LIM WEE KIAK (SEMBAWANG GRC)
LIM WEE KIAK (SEMBAWANG GRC)
NON-CONSTITUENCY MP HAZEL POA
NON-CONSTITUENCY MP HAZEL POA
MARIAM JAAFAR (SEMBAWANG GRC)
MARIAM JAAFAR (SEMBAWANG GRC)

NOMINATED MP TAN YIA SWAM

Educate public on mental health

Many members of the public may want to help when they see others behaving oddly, but may not feel able to, said Dr Tan.

"We need to have more schemes in place for the general public to recognise early signs of mental illnesses, and how to assist as a first responder," she said.

Dr Tan also noted that mental resilience, proper sleeping habits and safe Internet use are related to mental health and should be taught in schools, and to adults as well.


LIM WEE KIAK (SEMBAWANG GRC)

Review national vaccination scheme

There is a comprehensive national vaccination programme for children here, but not for adults and the elderly, Dr Lim noted.

Many Singaporeans do not get vaccinations regularly unless they need to for travel or work, even though an illness like influenza can lead to complications and sudden death, he said.

Dr Lim suggested a review of the national programme, adding that more should be done to promote awareness of immunisation.


NON-CONSTITUENCY MP HAZEL POA

Improve insurance portability

As a person ages and develops medical conditions, it becomes "practically impossible" to change one's Integrated Plan (IP) provider as the conditions will be excluded from cover, Ms Poa said.

Insurers may entice younger people with lower premiums and hike them when they are older, she said.

Ms Poa asked if the Government will consider making it a condition for IP providers to allow policy holders to switch providers without imposing additional conditions.


MARIAM JAAFAR (SEMBAWANG GRC)

Address reasons why health workers quit

While the recently announced pay rise for public healthcare workers will help address the shortage of nurses and caregivers, demand for nurses is expected to increase further as Singapore ages, said Ms Mariam.

She wanted to know what was being done to enhance career paths for healthcare workers and address the top reasons they quit.

This could include a review of shift structures and giving more support to nurses, she suggested.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2021, with the headline 'From The Backbench'. Subscribe