MOH Addendum to President's Address - Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health




1             MOH’s vision is to enable all Singaporeans to live well, live long and enjoy peace of mind. To achieve this vision, we will improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of healthcare for Singaporeans as outlined in the Healthcare 2020 Master Plan. We will continue to develop new strategies and programmes to ensure that our health and aged care system meets our future needs.

Looking Back

2             Over the past five years, we have expanded the capacity of our healthcare system by more than 2,000 acute, community and nursing home beds. In addition, we have opened several new facilities, including the NUH Medical Centre and the new National Heart Centre. We have also expanded and renovated six polyclinics, and opened six new Family Medicine Clinics.

3             We have also expanded our healthcare professional workforce by almost 50% between 2008 and 2013. Our third medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, admitted its inaugural student intake in 2013.

4             We have improved affordability through a series of health financing reforms to keep healthcare cost affordable for patients. These include top-ups to Medisave, enhancements to MediShield, higher subsidies, including expansion of subsidies for long-term care, screening and chronic diseases.

5             We learned valuable lessons in responding to dengue, Haze, and emerging infectious diseases like H7N9 and MERS-CoV in 2013, and strengthened our emergency preparedness capabilities.

Going Forward

Build Capacity to Meet Future Needs

6             MOH will continue to add more healthcare facilities. Altogether, from 2014 to 2020, we will add over 11,000 more acute hospital, community hospital and nursing home beds. In addition, we plan to build up to six new polyclinics by end-2020. We will step up efforts to recruit and retain healthcare workers, and create more opportunities for their professional development and career progression. We will also continue to innovate to raise productivity.

Integrate Service Delivery for Better Care Outcomes

7             MOH’s focus is to create an integrated and patient-centric healthcare system that delivers better patient care. Through the development of Regional Health Systems, public, private and voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) healthcare providers across different care sectors work in partnership to keep our population healthy, and deliver integrated care to patients. We will enhance primary care, strengthen partnership with GPs and develop the new Family Medicine Clinics (FMCs) so that patients, especially those with chronic conditions, will be better cared for by their regular family physician with support from the Regional Health Systems.

8             As we increase intermediate and long term care capacity, we will also raise quality of care and strengthen capabilities of our service providers. In particular, we will expand the community-based services, such as the network of Senior Care Centres, and introduce measures to raise standards and quality of care. We will also develop and implement a new framework for home care services which comprehensively covers both home social and home health services, and provide more training and support to caregivers in taking care of their family members.

9             We are also integrating our processes and IT systems across healthcare sectors, leveraging on the National Electronic Health Record System, which has been rolled out progressively and will be further enhanced over the next two years.

Enhance Affordability for Peace of Mind

10          MOH will continue to reform the financing framework to keep healthcare affordable for all Singaporeans. The implementation of MediShield Life in end-2015 will provide lifelong, universal coverage for all Singaporeans. We will increase direct patient subsidies in specialist outpatient clinics and enhance drug subsidies to lower patients’ out-of-pocket expenses. The Pioneer Generation Package, to be rolled out over the next two years, will provide additional healthcare subsidies for our pioneers. We will also review financing for long term care to better address citizens’ concerns on the cost of severe old-age disability and long-term care. Finally, we will introduce more flexibility of Medisave use to cover more outpatient treatments.

11          Additional subsidies to increase affordability must be complemented by efforts to manage overall healthcare costs to ensure the financial sustainability of these reforms. MOH will continue efforts to address the drivers of healthcare costs, including the use of new drugs and technologies, and to ensure appropriate use of healthcare services.

Strengthen Upstream Intervention for Healthy Living

12          Central to our mission as the Ministry of Health is to help Singaporeans stay healthy. We will continue to work on the planning and delivery of preventive health services, including health promotion and education. We are implementing the Healthy Living Master Plan to ensure that Singaporeans have access to a healthy lifestyle in the workplaces, schools and in the community that is affordable. Going forward, MOH and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) will work with stakeholders to target the avoidable risk factors such as obesity and tobacco use.

Creating a Positive Environment for Ageing

13          We will continue to work on the Ministerial Committee of Ageing’s vision of enabling our seniors to age-in-place gracefully. Our seniors are healthier than before. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 ranked Singaporean men as having the world’s 2nd highest healthy life expectancy (HALE) (at 68.1 years), and our women with the 4th highest HALE (at 70.0 years), compared to 11th and 14th twenty years ago.

14          We will help keep seniors healthy, active and safe in the community and provide good quality aged care services when our seniors require them. We will create an environment that sees ageing as an opportunity and encourages our seniors to remain physically, economically and socially active and continue contributing to nation building. We look forward to a Singapore where our seniors feel empowered and have a good quality of life as they age. Singapore will be a nation for all ages.

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