‘Preventive well being is the most cost effective medication’: GPs welcome transfer to get individuals to enrol with household physician

Equally, Dr Elly Sabrina, a GP in Woodlands, mentioned that detecting abnormalities with a affected person she is already aware of is far simpler.

“You have seen the affected person for years and instantly you detect sure signs and indicators, for instance, they may be creating Parkinson’s, moderately than if I see the affected person for the primary time. It isn’t straightforward to work on an empty web page,” she mentioned.


Dr Philip Koh, who runs a clinic in Tampines, mentioned that past permitting docs to select ailments early, seeing the identical physician will increase familiarity and belief between each events.

“This doctor-patient relationship is sacred to the well-being of a affected person via his life. It takes time for belief to be constructed and on the finish of the day, it’s all about belief,” Dr Koh mentioned.

Illustrating his level, Dr Koh recounted a time when a affected person’s household referred to as for recommendation on a life-or-death scenario. Identified with most cancers and with presumably just one week left to reside, the household wished to know if the affected person ought to bear an costly remedy.

“As you develop older, you’ll encounter choices of this nature … typically, within the state of illness you are not capable of make the best determination your self. You want somebody who you belief and who is ready to provide the greatest recommendation,” he mentioned.

Affiliate Professor Tan Tze Lee, the president of School of Household Physicians Singapore, echoed the view. 

The essence of getting a household physician is the event of a deep and significant relationship between sufferers and their chosen household physician, he mentioned.

“(It’s) the deep belief and confidence they’ve that their physician would do the most effective for them and can search the most effective take care of them,” mentioned Assoc Prof Tan, who has a clinic in Choa Chu Kang.

“It’s this relationship that’s constructed up and developed over time that helps to advertise higher well being and higher outcomes.”


GPs who spoke to CNA mentioned that extra of them are actually specialised in household medication.

“I feel all these years, the impression of a lot of the public is that we’re cough and chilly docs … although we are able to do a lot rather more,” mentioned Dr Vincent Chua.

As an example, he provides knee injections, and is educated to sew up wounds in his Tiong Bahru clinic. 

As well as, GPs additionally do vaccinations and conduct home calls to the aged who’re home-bound, mentioned Dr Yap.

“Household medication is definitely fairly holistic within the sense that not solely do you have a look at acute issues, you take care of power issues, not solely do you have a look at a sure age group, nevertheless it cuts throughout all age teams,” he mentioned.


Whereas the docs largely supported the transfer to have sufferers enrol with one major care physician, additionally they pointed to potential pitfalls.

One frequent situation they introduced up was of working adults in search of remedy at clinics underneath their firm’s insurance coverage protection.

Dr Chua mentioned this “huge class” of working adults is a gaggle of sufferers for whom this scheme is “not more likely to work”. 

“The rationale why they see a physician shouldn’t be that they like me or I am good. It’s as a result of they don’t need to pay,” he mentioned.

Assoc Prof Tan added that if sufferers are restricted to at least one clinic, they may have an issue if the clinic is closed when they’re unwell.

Whereas altering docs could also be inevitable for some sufferers, one strategy to minimise disruption is to get a advice from the primary physician, mentioned Dr Koh.

He added that he has beneficial his sufferers to different docs, and has additionally obtained new referrals.

“Due to that communication, if there’s something (I would like to seek out out), I can at all times return to that physician,” he mentioned.

The docs CNA spoke to mentioned all of them stay up for seeing how the scheme can be rolled out.

“All people agrees that the satan is within the particulars,” mentioned Dr Yap.

The Well being Ministry had introduced that over the subsequent few months, it should seek the advice of stakeholders, together with members of the general public, GPs, healthcare staff and group companions, to assemble their views.

It is going to then present extra particulars in a White Paper and desk it for debate in Parliament, including that it’s going to share extra particulars of the general public session plans when prepared.

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