Half of GP clinics have joined Healthier SG’s primary care network: Ong Ye Kung , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Half of GP clinics have joined Healthier SG’s primary care network: Ong Ye Kung

Half of the general practitioner (GP) clinics in Singapore have joined the primary care network (PCN), a national programme that allows doctors to share resources and operate in teams, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Saturday.

The number of registrations climbed from 500 to 800 clinics in the past year amid the Government’s push to reform healthcare to focus more on preventive care, he added.

This vision is part of the Healthier SG strategy, which aims to get patients to stick to one doctor who will develop a personalised plan to address any medical concerns and set health goals.

Healthier SG, which will be rolled out in 2023, aims to bring family clinics on board, as they can build a stronger relationship with residents. To be part of the campaign, clinics must first sign up for the PCN scheme, which provides funding and administrative support to GPs to support the long-term chronic needs of patients.

Under Healthier SG, GPs will get an annual service fee for each enrolled patient.

As part of this effort, participating clinics in Sembawang will encourage patients to attend healthy lifestyle activities, based on a growing list of neighbourhood programmes curated by the constituency that currently total 100.

Speaking to the media at the Sembawang GRC Health Fiesta on Saturday, Mr Ong said the initiative is a way to encourage more residents to keep fit by participating in community activities – like group walks, taiji and dance programmes.

Physical activities are a key focus of Healthier SG, which will roll out more of such programmes by the likes of the People’s Association and Sport Singapore.

To compile the list of neighbourhood programmes, Mr Ong said his team worked with the 100 organisers to fix a time and place to hold each activity.

Clinics and care providers will recommend these programmes to patients, encouraging them to include physical activities into their routine, he added.

Volunteers and partners will visit seniors living alone in the constituency to encourage them to join such activities, which generally do not require booking or payment, said Mr Ong.

The initiative is another way residents can learn about community programmes here. Another way is the Health Promotion Board’s Healthy 365 app, which has a catalogue of community events that those interested can refer to.

Health Fiesta participant Richard Goh, 64, refers to the Healthy 365 app daily to seek out zumba classes, a daily routine for him to keep fit.

“I’ve been running and playing sports for a long time but these days, I do zumba. Keeping fit has helped me a lot, as I rarely get sick,” said the part-time driver.

Another participant, Madam Zainab Rahim, came to the Health Fiesta to receive free check-ups at a range of health-screening booths.

The 75-year-old writer said community activities like these can rope in even those who do not exercise frequently. She said: “Events like these promote something positive for us, like looking after our own health... There’s a good atmosphere, and it gets us to do things together.”

Madam Sabaria Sabthoo, 65, regularly joins community fitness events and brisk walks at least 15km each week to keep fit.

Said the former technician, who has six grandchildren between the ages of three and 15: “Since I’m not working now, I need to stay healthy, especially since I need to look after my grandchildren.”