SINGAPORE – Seniors want a healthcare plan that is tailored to their needs and convenient, while younger people hope that general practitioners (GPs) can be trained to engage with them on mental health issues.
These were some of the observations from a series of public consultation sessions under the Health Ministry’s Healthier SG strategy mentioned by Second Minister for Health Masagos Zulkifli.
He was speaking at the National Library on Wednesday (June 16) during one of the sessions.
In these feedback sessions, members of the public gave their views and suggestions on shaping the Healthier SG strategy, which aims to deliver more coordinated care.
This includes getting family doctors to play a key role in preventive care so that they can spot diseases earlier and keep Singaporeans out of hospital as much as possible.
“In terms of their healthcare plan, seniors want to be able to participate in one that is tailored for their needs, which is not strenuous, and which is near where they live,” said Mr Masagos.
“Whereas for the young, they’re more worried about their mental well being… They need access, through their GP, who can be trained to engage them and take them out of their stress, or state of depression.”
He added: “Healthcare SG wants to address both issues around physical access and mental wellness.”
Among the core elements of Healthier SG is a national enrolment programme, where every resident is assigned a family doctor. It also entails building a lifelong relationship between each Singaporean and their family physician.
Their doctor will then come up with a health plan for them, said Mr Masagos.
“If they are healthy, (the plan will cover) how to maintain their health and prevent chronic illness; and for those who have chronic illness already, how to manage it so that it doesn’t become worse,” he said.
Since May, there have been five such in-person public engagement sessions, with about 500 participants thus far.
A corresponding online feedback survey – which will continue till Aug 15 – has garnered over 1,800 responses.
The feedback gathered will be studied and incorporated into a White Paper, which will be tabled in Parliament for debate later this year.