In a bid to increase the number of elderly residents being screened for chronic diseases and cancers, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) has launched a community screening programme that makes important screenings easily accessible to residents in the heartlands. Residents in Whampoa are the first to benefit from the programme that will eventually be rolled out to other areas in Singapore.
The one-stop screening programme will offer screening for key chronic conditions – diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and obesity, and selected cancers – breast, cervical and colorectal cancers at subsidised rates for the elderly needy residents. To encourage more residents to take up screening, HPB has sought the co-operation of both the private and public sectors to bring down the costs of the tests for needy elderly residents.
At the same time, the Board is launching its newly-minted General Practitioner (GP) Network to ensure that patients receive follow-up treatment and care. Upon registering for screening, HPB’s Health Ambassadors will help residents to nominate a physician – either his family GP, or a GP listed in the network. If the resident is unsure, he will be assigned a GP from the network, located closest to his home. The nominated GPs will be informed of residents with abnormal screening results so that they can call the patient for a follow-up consultation. This will ensure that everyone with abnormal screening results will be followed-up by a GP.
HPB is also piloting a software which can help GPs recommend suitable exercises for their patients with chronic diseases. The new software, developed by HPB’s Physical Activity Centre of Excellence (PACE) helps doctors recommend exercises for their patients according to their ages and conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and obesity.