Singapore’s citizens will now enjoy greater healthcare subsidies, more polyclinics and a better healthcare package for people in their 60s, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced during the country’s National Day Rally this past weekend. He also added ways that the government is addressing the matter.
Singapore’s Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS), which provides subsidies for outpatient expenses to lower and middle-income citizens, will now be extended to cover citizens with chronic conditions regardless of income. The scheme will provide assistance with medical bills as more citizens struggle with managing these situations. In last year’s National Day Rally, the PM stated that one in nine citizens suffer from diabetes. Costs of living in the country was a major topic in the speech as the Prime Minister conveyed to citizens that various policies were being taken up to address increasing living costs. Among factors driving up living costs is increased healthcare expenditure. Singapore is also turning its focus to boosting primary care, and increasing access to polyclinics. This year, the Ministry of Health has been improving and upgrading and constructing new polyclinics and other medical centres in the city, Lee said. The new Ang Mo Kio polyclinic also offers a senior care centre with day care, rehabilitation, and home care facilities to reduce trips to the hospital for the elderly. By 2023, six more polyclinics are set to open in many neighbourhoods, increasing affordability of primary care. “We will make sure there are reasonable, accessible, high-quality primary care all over Singapore,” said Lee.
As Singapore grows and prospers, Singaporeans will live longer and be more resilient to lifestyle diseases. The government is setting the path to ensure citizens are prepared and equipped to better manage their health.