National Day Awards 2019

Up for the challenge to boost population health: Philip Choo Wee Jin

PHOTO: NATIONAL HEALTHCARE GROUP
PROFESSOR PHILIP CHOO WEE JINPHOTO: NATIONAL HEALTHCARE GROUP

Professor Philip Choo Wee Jin
Group Chief Executive Officer, National Healthcare Group
Public Administration Medal (Gold)

There have been no special moments in Professor Philip Choo's long career in healthcare - not because he has not enjoyed the experience, but because the work is not yet completed, he says.

There is much left to be done for population health in Singapore, says the 60-year-old.

"We are trying to broaden our healthcare and shift away from the hospital setting to bring care into the community."

He adds: "We are at the early stage of planning how to move upstream and tackle the root causes of ill health, even before people fall ill.

"We are also trying to move downstream and address patient frailty."

He was explaining how, through greater integration of health and social services, targeted programmes and timely interventions could serve people at different stages of their life journey.

Prof Choo is proud of Singapore's public healthcare system and thankful for the opportunity to work with a close-knit community of healthcare professionals.

 

"We see ourselves as one big family," he says.

"Healthcare costs may increase over time, but what is critical is for Singaporeans to have the sense that they can still support one another, not just as one country, but also as one people."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2019, with the headline 'Up for the challenge to boost population health'. Print Edition | Subscribe