Quest for a healthier Singapore: What's needed to get Healthier SG off the ground?

Primary care physicians will play a much larger role when Healthier SG rolls out in the second half of 2023. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Healthier SG is Singapore's new preventive care strategy aimed at getting family doctors to help individuals take charge of their health. Insight looks at the benefits as well as some of the unanswered questions in this mega healthcare transformation strategy.

Primary care physicians to play larger role under Healthier SG

When Ms Vivien Goh's 81-year-old mother was still feverish a few days after being discharged from hospital in 2021, the family took her to their regular general practitioner (GP), who advised them to have her readmitted.

They did as he said as they knew how familiar he was with her case.

"We trust him with our lives. He's always very careful, very thorough," said Ms Goh, 51, a senior law firm executive.


GPs air concerns about annual service fee, medication subsidies under Healthier SG

The "three highs" of chronic conditions - high blood sugar, high blood pressure and high cholesterol - may be some of the most common diseases afflicting Singaporeans, but much more effort is needed for doctors to help diabetic patients manage their condition compared with the other two.

"Patients with diabetes need regular eye and feet checks, and regular tests to make sure there are no complications," said Dr Lim Kim Show, 51, a family physician at Life Family Clinic. He said the Health Ministry would need to consider such issues when tabulating the appropriate annual fee to pay GPs for looking after different groups of patients under Healthier SG.

Under the new healthcare strategy set to be rolled out in 2023, the fee to GPs will be based on the health risk profile and scope of required care of patients.


Have your say to help shape Healthier SG

My initial reaction to the announcement of Healthier SG was: Same old, same old.

Why do I say this?

Because since I started covering healthcare more than two decades ago, health ministers have been stressing the importance of people taking ownership of their own health.


4 things to know about Healthier SG

Healthier SG is a decisive shift in Singapore's healthcare system which emphasises preventive care to keep people healthier.

Here is how the strategy will work.


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