Speech by Health Minister, Mr Gan Kim Yong, at the Agency for Integrated Care's CHAS Health Carnival, 24 Nov 2012

Residents and Friends of Chua Chu Kang and Hong Kah North,

Dr Amy Khor, Mayor of South West District and MP for Hong Kah North

Grassroots Leaders and members

Good morning everyone.


1.         Dr Amy Khor and I are happy to be here this morning with our residents from Chua Chu Kang and Hong Kah North constituencies for the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) Health Carnival, organised by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC). We hope you are having an enjoyable morning so far, participating in the many activities at the carnival. Today‟s event is also an opportunity for residents from our two neighbouring constituencies to come together, and get to know one another better.

2.         As the saying goes, “health is wealth”. With more Singaporeans suffering from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, there is a need to help people understand their own state of health through appropriate screenings, as well as support them in managing any conditions that may exist. I encourage all of you to take charge of your health and go for the health screening made available here today by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and NTUC Unity Healthcare.  

3.         To stay healthy, Singaporeans can tap the Community Health Assist Scheme or CHAS, which provides eligible individuals with subsidies for medical treatment and selected dental services at private GPs and dental clinics near their homes. Such an arrangement also allows patients to manage their chronic conditions with a family doctor they know and trust, and who knows their health well. To date, over 11,500 residents from both constituencies are Health Assist card holders. Our colleagues from the Agency for Integrated Care or AIC are here to tell you more about CHAS so do visit their booth.  

4.         Of course, CHAS would not have been possible without our private sector partners, who share our goal of helping Singaporeans stay healthy. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the participating GP and dental clinics in Chua Chu Kang and Hong Kah North, who have been very supportive of this scheme. Over the past few months, I have seen more clinics in both constituencies displaying the CHAS decal. There are now some 27 participating GP clinics and 10 dental clinics across the two constituencies. Our residents need not travel very far to visit a participating clinic for their medical or dental needs.  

AIC’s Mobile Eldercare Locator App

5.         To make things even more convenient for residents, AIC has developed a new mobile application for smartphones, called the „Mobile Eldercare Locator‟ app. This app can be downloaded for free and is targeted at those who require information on eldercare services and their providers, such as caregivers, care recipients, and even healthcare professionals. It is very easy to use. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can find useful information such as the addresses and opening hours of CHAS clinics nearby. The app can even provide directions on how to get to the clinic. Besides CHAS clinics, users can also search for information on eldercare services, such as day rehabilitation centres, and senior activity centres in their neighbourhood to find services best suited for their elderly loved ones. Please do approach our colleagues from AIC who are here to demonstrate and tell you more about the app.  

6.         While we have put in place schemes and facilities to support residents in managing their health, prevention is always better than cure. Many residents here are quite health conscious and are already adopting a healthier lifestyle. I was told that more and more residents are joining our weekly Walk-A-Jog sessions and there are interest groups for activities such as Yoga, Pilates and Line Dancing. Such activities are particularly popular among the retirees. This goes to show that there is no age limit to exercise and keeping healthy. Appropriate exercise helps us to keep our bodies fit and our minds active. It also helps us keep chronic illness at bay and under control.  

Tie up with NTUC’s Unity Pharmacy 

7.         To further help Singaporeans in managing their own health, I am pleased to share that from now until end of April next year, Health Assist card holders are entitled to a 5% discount off regular-priced items at NTUC Unity Pharmacy outlets, including prescription medications, health supplements, surgical and home care essentials. With Unity‟s network of 48 outlets island-wide, some 220,000 CHAS members will be able to benefit from this discount. NTUC Unity has been a close partner even before this latest offer. Since 2009, clinics under NTUC Unity‟s dental service arm Unity Denticare have been participating under CHAS, with more than 1,000 members benefitting from subsidised dental treatment to date. I would like to thank NTUC Unity Healthcare Co-operative for their support in extending its community care benefits through the card to CHAS members, making healthcare more affordable.  

8.         Today‟s Carnival aims to raise awareness on CHAS so that more can enjoy the various benefits members are eligible for. Do spread the word to your friends and neighbours, and encourage them to sign up, if they have not done so.  

9.         On this note, I will leave you to enjoy the many activities planned for you and I hope you will also learn more about CHAS as well. I wish you all a great day ahead!  

10.       Thank you.


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