Opening Address by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health, at the Aljunied Cluster Community Health Carnival

Community Partners,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,


1.              It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this special event; a Community Health Carnival organised by the People’s Association (PA) and the National Healthcare Group (NHG). I am very heartened to see the grassroots working so closely with public healthcare providers to bring an integrated suite of services and an array of activities to meet your needs in this community.

2.              We have made significant improvements in population health over the years. The life expectancy of Singaporean women and men at birth today is 85 years and 80 years, respectively, compared to 10 years ago. Even as we live longer, we must help ourselves keep healthy – physically, emotionally, socially and mentally, so that we can continue to pursue our interests and aspirations and lead a fulfilling life.  We can achieve good health by leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes having a balanced diet, exercise regularly, not smoking, and going for appropriate health screening and follow-up.

NHG promoting better health for residents through partnership

3.              The National Healthcare Group (NHG), as the regional health system (RHS) in central Singapore, has been working with partners like HPB, PA and other healthcare providers to make healthy living part and parcel of our everyday lives.

4.              NHG has been working with the grassroots to encourage residents to go for regular health screenings as it can help to better manage their health conditions and prevent serious complications. NHG also provides residents with health and social assessments and targeted advice on health and lifestyle to enable them to live healthily.  

5.              I am heartened that NHG, PA, HPB and the grassroots are working together to promote healthy living amongst the community. For example, they refer residents to participate in PA’s Wellness Programme. By having these activities near their homes, residents are more likely to participate more regularly.

6.              Finally, our agencies are also working together to ensure better engagement of diabetic patients and their families through follow-up house visits. This is a partnership between the Active Ageing Committees’ (AAC) and volunteers from the Resident’s Committees (RC) and Neighbourhood Committees (NC).  During the visits, the volunteers will see what additional help is needed and refer them to relevant agencies in the public, people or private sectors for healthcare, financial and social assistance.  They will also actively encourage these residents to participate in activities such as brisk walking, Qigong and relevant health workshops under the Wellness Programme.

7.              We believe such partnerships between healthcare providers and Grassroots Organisations (GRO) are the right way forward. We hope that this will encourage residents to live a healthier lifestyle.

NHG Mobile Community Health Centre

8.              Primary care plays an important part in managing chronic diseases, encouraging individual responsibility to take care of yourself, and keeping you healthy. In Singapore, primary care is provided through 18 polyclinics and about 1,500 medical GP clinics. We have made improvements to deliver better care over the years. In the Central region, Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic is being redeveloped to offer more support for patients with chronic diseases. New primary care facilities such as the Ang Mo Kio and Unity Family Medicine Clinics (FMCs) were also built in the past two years to offer residents more options for subsidised care. In January last year, the Community Health Assist Scheme or CHAS was enhanced to allow more Singaporeans to be eligible for subsidies at these FMCs and other participating CHAS GP clinics. Under the Pioneer Generation Package, our pioneers enjoy even higher subsidies at these clinics.

9.              Today’s launch of the first Mobile Community Health Centre by NHG will take us another step closer to the community in providing primary care that is easily accessible.  Like other CHCs in Bedok, Tampines, Tiong Bahru and Jurong East, the mobile CHC provides support services for patients referred by GPs, such as diabetic eye screening, diabetic foot screening and personalised nurse counselling and education. Patients can also get advice on self-care management, nutrition, and exercise tips. Patients covered under CHAS and the Pioneer Generation Package can receive these services at subsidised rates. With regular checks, and a more holistic approach in managing patient care, GPs would be better able to help their patients manage their chronic diseases.

10.           And to top it all, the mobile CHC literally brings the CHC closer to you.  The Mobile CHC will be parked in Community Clubs (CCs) and HDB carparks at various locations, such as Bishan – Toa Payoh, Hougang, and Whampoa, at scheduled dates and times. The mobile CHC will thus have a wider reach and benefit more patients than if it had been limited to only one location. 


11.          I am heartened to see the close partnership between NHG and the Aljunied Cluster grassroots. I hope the healthcare providers in other regions will learn from each other and deepen their collaborations, so that residents all around Singapore can enjoy the benefits. Such strong partnerships across sectors and agencies will also help us take better care of our people in the community. With this, I wish one and all a great time at this carnival!

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