Ministries Addenda to the President's Address - Ministry of Health
PUBLISHED ON 11 May 2018
Helping Singaporeans to stay healthy and active

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has outlined its vision for all Singaporeans: live well and live long, with peace of mind.

In the Ministry’s addendum to the President’s Address, Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong said the ministry will embark on major shifts to Singapore’s healthcare system on several areas.

Beyond Healthcare to Health

Mr Gan said MOH’s first priority is to help Singaporeans stay healthy through the promotion of healthier food and lifestyle choices, and disease screening. “We will expand these efforts and embark on new ones to move towards the goal of developing health promoting communities. Singaporeans will be empowered through information, technology, and smart behavioural nudges to eat healthily, keep active and take charge of their health, while industries and employers will be encouraged to provide supportive environments for healthy behaviour,” he said.
Mr Gan added that the ministry is also exploring measures to further discourage unhealthy habits, such as smoking and excessive sugar consumption.

And to further safeguard Singapore’s public health, MOH will enhance surveillance, preparedness, and response to infectious diseases. Mr Gan revealed, “The upcoming National Centre for Infectious Diseases will serve as a focal point for these efforts. MOH will also lead in the implementation of a National Anti-Microbial Resistance Plan to prevent the emergence and spread of drug-resistant micro-organisms.”

Beyond Hospital to Community

To strengthen Singapore’s primary care foundation, hospitals will partner with primary care and community care providers to deliver seamless care for patients. Mr Gan added that a new Healthcare Services legislation will be enacted to enhance regulatory clarity, strengthen governance, and safeguard patient safety and welfare. Meanwhile, the MOH Office for Healthcare Transformation will work with healthcare institutions to explore new services and innovative care models while ensuring patient safety.

Mr Gan remarked that the ministry will also review healthcare financing policies to support new care models and to better integrate care in the community. “This includes more targeted government subsidies to better direct support towards those in greater need, as well as timely and appropriate changes to MediShield Life and to Medisave usage and coverage,” he said.

Beyond Quality to Value

To enable Singaporeans to make informed and appropriate decisions, the Agency for Care Effectiveness will expand their range of education, advisory products, and programmes beyond Drug Guidance and Appropriate Care Guides. MOH will also publish fee benchmarks for medical procedures and services.

Pushing for Productivity & Value Driven Care

As Singapore continues to push for productivity improvements, Mr Gan shared that a new agency will be set up to consolidate the procurement and supply chain functions across the public healthcare clusters. “This will bring about better economies of scale and enable us to develop new models and capabilities that improve efficiency and benefit patients,” he added.

Successful Ageing

Mr Gan further said that the ministry will press on with the implementation of the Action Plan for Successful Ageing and expand community-based care facilities and experiment with new forms of housing for more accessible care. With the formation of the Silver Generation Office and nationwide expansion of the Community Networks for Seniors, Mr Gan said these networks will further facilitate better integration of health and social services. He revealed that MOH’s review of ElderShield will further strengthen the social safety net for Singaporeans’ long-term care.

Strong Capabilities and Close Partnerships

To build a strong local pipeline of healthcare professionals, Mr Gan said MOH will invest in a comprehensive Continuing Education and Training system, and build up capabilities for nurse-led, community-based care. The Health Information Technology (IT) Master Plan will also be updated to encourage the industry to leverage new developments in data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics and other technological fields