Singapore residents eligible to register with a family doctor of their choice from 2023

Under the Healthier SG programme, the family doctors will be able to closely monitor and meet the healthcare needs of families.

Charlotte Chang

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Published: 10 March 2022, 1:33 PM

Singapore residents will be eligible to enrol a general practitioner (GP) or polyclinic doctor as their family doctor under the new Healthier SG programme to be rolled out from 2023, said Minister of Health Mr Ong Ye Kung at the Committee of Supply debate on Mar 9.

Under the Healthier SG programme, residents will be enrolled based on where they live. This approach will be taken as currently about nine in ten residents will visit a family doctor or hospital near their home.

However, individuals may also choose to enrol with doctors further away from their homes, as they may feel more comfortable with these doctors. 

After enrolment, people will still be allowed to make changes when the need arises, such as when they move houses.

According to MOH, those who consistently go to one family doctor are generally healthier. However, only three out of five Singaporeans visit a family doctor regularly.

Having a family doctor is meant to improve health across the nation, as the doctor will be able to monitor and meet the various healthcare needs of each family throughout their life.

To encourage preventive care consultations, health screenings with the family doctors could be for free or cost only a very nominal sum.

The family doctors will have access to patients’ past medical records to better track their conditions and trends over time.

To support this, MOH has been developing and rolling out the National Electronic Health System (NEHS) to synchronise information and share data across settings.

A new legislation will also put in place a Health Information Bill in the next few years.

MOH has been working with GP clinics for some time, and will be partnering up with hospitals to build up the clinics’ capabilities and encourage integrated team-based care. 

As MOH is still finalising the details of the programme, over the next few months, it will be consulting different stakeholders, Singaporeans, GPs, healthcare workers, and community partners to gather their input.

More details of the public consultation plans will be shared when ready.

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