Free health screenings for diabetes, some cancers under Singapore's Healthier SG reform

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SINGAPORE, Oct 5 — The Singapore government will offer free health screenings for six types of chronic conditions and cancers for eligible Singapore residents who enrol to be tied with a fixed family doctor under the national Healthier SG programme.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said yesterday that these screenings, recommended for the general population, will be for:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension, or high blood pressure
  • Hyperlipidaemia, or high cholesterol
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colorectal cancer

Healthy 365, a government-developed mobile application that gives users rewards vouchers for exercising, will also be enhanced by allowing users to track their calorie intake, for instance.

In a speech in Parliament, Ong gave details on what the Healthier SG programme will mean for residents here as the Singapore government embarks on a long-term reform of the healthcare sector to focus on preventive care over just acute care.

The reform, Ong said, will allow his ministry to “live up to the name of the Ministry of Health, not the ministry of sickness”.

Free screenings, vaccinations

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced in March that from next year, it will invite Singapore residents to register with a family doctor of their choice to be the first port of call for all their healthcare needs.

Enrolment will be open to residents aged 60 years and above in the second half of next year, followed by those in the 40 to 59 age group in the next two years.

Once enrolled with a family doctor, the Singapore government will fully fund the most important aspects of preventive care, Ong said yesterday.

Annual preventive care check-ins with the family doctor, as well as nationally recommended health screenings and vaccinations will be free.

Right now, Singaporeans are charged up to S$5 or get free health screening at selected clinics under the national Screen For Life programme, depending on income and the generation group they belong.

For example, the screening test and first post-screening consultation for colorectal cancer (if assessed that it is needed) will be free for the Pioneer Generation, who are citizens born on...

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