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.