Sunday, July 3, 2016

Singapore - Family doctors play key role in delivering good, affordable care: Lam Pin Min

SINGAPORE: Family doctors play a key role in delivering good and affordable care to Singaporeans, said Minister of State for Health Dr Lam Pin Min on Saturday (May 14). He added that this is a critical part of efforts to shift care from hospitals to the community.

He was speaking at the third Japan-Singapore Inter-professional Collaboration (JSIP) symposium, which saw medical doctors from Singapore and Japan discussing strategies to maintain a sustainable healthcare model in light of their ageing populations.

Dr Lam pointed out that by 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be 65 and above - double the current figure - while, the number of Japanese in that age bracket will be more than one in four. He also noted that the growing ageing population in Singapore means healthcare demand is set to rise because more will suffer from chronic diseases.

As such, there is a need to focus on care delivery in the community, he said. This would also mean providing better support to family doctors.

For one, the Health Ministry will enhance existing IT systems and online portals to make it easier for doctors to submit claims for healthcare financing schemes, such as the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).

Dr Lam added that there are also plans to further assist family doctors in clinic management and the use of electronic medical records.

“Demand for healthcare will increase, even as our Singapore workforce is shrinking, making it even more challenging to sustain the provision of healthcare to meet the needs of our people,” he said. “We cannot continue to provide care in the same way in the future. The shifts we need to make have to start now.”


Faris Mokhtar

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