Main healthcare not simply treats the sick, but in addition retains individuals wholesome

SINGAPORE – The function of main care, offered by polyclinics and personal basic practitioners’ (GP) clinics, has developed from being simply the primary port of name for people who find themselves sick, to additionally embody holding individuals wholesome.

Well being Minister Ong Ye Kung instructed The Straits Occasions: “There’s now a giant overlap between what’s main care and what’s preventive care. And our complete thought and definition and implementation of main care is now a lot broader in scope.”

Constructing well being, on high of curing sicknesses, is a process docs can’t shoulder on their very own. They should hyperlink up with different gamers locally who can present ongoing care, assist and encouragement so sufferers proceed to guide more healthy life.

Likewise, Mr Ong mentioned: “We don’t anticipate polyclinics to be standalone scientific establishments anymore – they should hyperlink themselves up with the entire group.

“We’re going to activate varied teams to do every kind of actions, reminiscent of encouraging individuals to stop smoking, eat wholesome, train, and get seniors to come back out of their houses, to be socially related. All these are very vital and essential well being interventions locally.”

This matches in with the roll-out of More healthy SG, a nationwide initiative launched in July 2023.

“Getting individuals to undertake well being (and) good well being habits would be the function of the entire main care sector, and it’ll solely rise in significance,” Mr Ong mentioned.

The lately launched Sembawang Polyclinic is Singapore’s twenty fifth. 9 extra will probably be constructed between 2024 and 2030, and 6 are being redeveloped so as to add extra providers.

A Ministry of Well being (MOH) spokesman mentioned extra polyclinics are wanted due to the ageing inhabitants, the rising burden of continual illness and the rising complexity of continual illnesses.

“Therefore, at the same time as we more and more faucet the capability of the non-public basic practitioner sector which makes up the most important proportion of our main care docs, we additionally must develop polyclinic capability to fulfill demand, specifically for advanced continual care,” the spokesman added.

However Mr Ong assured GPs they don’t want to fret that they won’t have sufficient sufferers to look after. GPs nonetheless present 80 per cent of main care.

He mentioned: “Whilst a solo GP, you possibly can nonetheless do lots for residents who’re nonetheless wholesome, or (who’re experiencing) onset of continual sickness. One GP can do a number of good for them. So GPs don’t have any fear that they’ll run out of labor. In reality, the work goes to get heavier and heavier.

“However the place it’s extra critical, extra superior, you then want assist.”

Mr Ong mentioned that sadly, as individuals age, increasingly more of them may have continual sicknesses. As soon as they advance to a sure stage, it may not merely be a case of 1 main care physician caring for the affected person, he mentioned. As an alternative, a staff effort is required for good illness management.

MOH has for years been encouraging GPs to affix main care networks, which give sufferers with care from multidisciplinary groups that embody docs, nurses and first care coordinators. This could present for simpler administration of sufferers’ continual situations.

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