Health for life: New initiatives to keep S'poreans healthier longer, help them cope with illness better | March 06, 2021 5:00 AMHere are the key initiatives and when you can expect them.

Health for life: New initiatives to keep S'poreans healthier longer, help them cope with illness better

Health for life: New initiatives to keep S'poreans healthier longer, help them cope with illness better

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SINGAPORE - A slew of new programmes and changes was announced by the Ministry of Health on Friday (March 5) to keep people healthier longer, and help them cope with illness better. Rei Kurohi summarises the key initiatives and when you can expect them.

Striving for better health for all

What

An inter-agency task force has been set up to develop a five-year Child and Maternal Health and Well-being action plan, aimed at helping women prepare for motherhood, and helping children attain good health and well-being from their early years.

When

The task force will implement the plan in phases, with the first phase expected to be ready by early next year.

What

An updated Action Plan for Successful Ageing will be launched to improve seniors’ quality of life, empower them to continue contributing to society, and support them in staying connected to the community.

When

The Government will launch the plan next year.

What

A work group has been set up to improve the health of ethnic minority groups in Singapore. It will design programmes to rally the respective communities against poor health habits.

When

The group was formed last month and will start by focusing its efforts on the Malay community.

What

The Covid-19 mental health task force, which was set up in October last year, will be transformed into an inter-agency platform to coordinate mental health and well-being efforts beyond the pandemic. 

When

The task force is to be transformed by the middle of this year, and more details will be shared when ready.


Providing accessible, affordable and better care

What

Clementi Polyclinic, one of the oldest polyclinics in Singapore, will be redeveloped at a new site. When it is ready, it will be more spacious and will incorporate more elder-friendly and accessibility features.

When 

The redeveloped polyclinic is expected to be operational by 2027. In the meantime, the existing Clementi Polyclinic will continue to serve patients.

What

Government subsidy schemes for acute inpatient hospitals, community hospitals and specialist outpatient clinics will be revamped to better target those who need them more.

When 

The schemes will be updated by mid-2022. 

What

Annual withdrawal limits for the Flexi-MediSave scheme, which aims to help seniors pay less for healthcare out of pocket, will be raised from $200 to $300 to support elderly patients seeking outpatient treatment.

When

The change will take effect on June 1 this year.


Improving quality of care

What

A national One-Rehab framework will give patients better access to rehabilitation care, particularly in the community setting.  

When

The framework will be progressively piloted in public hospitals, polyclinics and the community care sector from the second half of this year.

What

Two National Central Fill Pharmacies will be set up to consolidate medication orders from multiple public healthcare institutions, which will be sent to patients in a single parcel.

When

The first phase is targeted to start early next year.


Enabling a future-ready healthcare system

What

The training capacity of the professional conversion programme (PCP) for healthcare professionals will be expanded to bring in more mid-career entrants, especially for nursing. 

When

Applications for the nursing PCP at Nanyang Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic will open next month, for the October intake. Applications for an accelerated PCP in occupational therapy at the Singapore Institute of Technology are open from now until March 19 this year.

What

Base salaries for nurses, allied health professionals, pharmacists, and administrative and ancillary staff in the public healthcare sector will be raised to attract and retain more healthcare staff. Publicly funded community care organisations will also get funding support for raising salaries.

When

The adjustments will be implemented in phases over two years, starting from July this year.

What

Support roles in the healthcare sector are being redesigned to blend clinical support, administrative and operations responsibilities, and new career pathways with more developmental opportunities to allow individuals to grow throughout their careers will be created.

When

The process is ongoing.




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