PCPS will assist needy patients, especially those with chronic conditions

Letter from Bey Mui Leng Director, Corporate Communications, Ministry of Health
Today 04:46 AM Sep 22, 2011

In the letter “How much will the PCPS changes help?” (Sept 16), Mr Leong Sze Hian asked if the enhanced Primary Care Partnership Scheme could really help the needy and suggested that more polyclinics would benefit more people instead.
We thank him for his feedback.

In his letter, a subsidy amount was derived by dividing the total subsidy amount with the eligible population.

Such a figure does not reflect the true amount of subsidies patients get, especially those who see their doctors with a combination of acute and chronic conditions.

Under the enhanced Primary Care Partnership Scheme (PCPS) announced last month, an eligible patient who visits a general practitioner (GP) four to six times a year for chronic disease management would be subsidised up to S$320 or S$480.

Patients also get subsidies for visiting their GP for acute conditions. Some patients choose to have a mix of care by visiting GPs and polyclinics, adding to the total amount of subsidies received.

The primary purpose of PCPS is to enable eligible Singaporeans to seek GP care at more affordable prices and is not meant to replace the role of polyclinics.

The scheme will allow more Singaporeans to be eligible for assistance, as the age and income criteria have been expanded. With more eligible patients, GPs are able to play a bigger role in primary care, especially in managing chronic diseases.

The Ministry of Health continues to review and evolve the role of our polyclinics to ensure that their care models remain in tandem with the needs of the population.

We recognise that our polyclinics alone cannot meet the needs of the ageing population and the growing burden of chronic disease. We are currently engaging the GP community to find ways to work together to provide Singaporeans with quality primary care services.

We are studying the possibility of replicating services found at polyclinics in a GP setting with a one-stop chronic disease management centre.

MOH welcomes suggestions and ideas from the public in this area.

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.