It is quite embarrassing to admit it, but the last time I went for a proper full health screening was back in secondary school during the mandatory health check-ups.
Back then as a teenager, of course, I had fewer health problems to worry about (I’m sure other teenagers would feel the same).
Multiple health concerns
As I approach my mid-20s, adulting also means taking care of health concerns and potential risks, including:
- Are my health numbers ok?
- Are my various vaccinations up to date?
- I’m not planning for kids yet, but am I able to have kids in the future?
- Breast and cervical cancer are some of the more common types of cancer among Singaporean women. How do I prevent this?
In reviewing the HealthPass by OCBC app, this is what I learned.
One-stop healthcare app
The first thing I asked was: “What does a bank have to do with my health?”
To make things clear, OCBC is not directly providing medical services to patients.
Instead, it has partnered with medical clinics to provide a digital healthcare experience with its users.
These are some of the medical clinics that you can find on the app:
- Thomson Medical
- Singapore Medical Group (SMG)
- StarMed Specialist Centre
- Faith Medical
- OneCare Medical
- Etern Medical
- True Medical Clinics
And no, you don’t have to be an OCBC customer to use the app. Anyone can download the app via the App Store or the Google Play Store.
The next thing I asked was: “How does this app differ from other telehealth apps in Singapore?”
Flat fees for doctor consultations
The HealthPass by OCBC team shared their goal of helping users get to a diagnosis, when needed.
On HealthPass, the consultation fees at doctors are available at flat fees.
For example, a consultation with a general practitioner via video goes at a flat S$20 doctor consult fee (and yes, you will receive a digital medical certificate if necessary).
Apart from that, the app also allows users to book a specialist either in-clinic or via video consult for your specific health needs.
App users can get an initial consult, diagnosis or second opinion at S$100 for first consults.
The specialities include:
- Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Women's health)
- Paediatrics (Children's health)
- Dermatology (Skin Care)
- Health Screening
- Aesthetic (Cosmetic & reconstructive)
- Cardiology (Heart)
- Orthopaedic (Bones, joints & muscles)
In case you can’t figure out which specialist you’d need to see, users can also share their health concerns via the app and will be assisted by the care team within one working day.
Since I was looking to have a health screening, I chose to see Dr Tay Wen Sien from Thomson Wellth Clinic at Paragon.
I visited the clinic in person for the tests, and got my results in a second appointment via a video consultation.
Prior to making an appointment, users can also check out the doctor’s profile to get to know them better.
A day before the scheduled appointment, I was given a call by one of the friendly staff from Thomson Wellth reminding me to fast for at least 10 hours before the health screening.
The next day upon reaching the clinic, though a little famished from not having my breakfast, I quietly went: “Waaaaah.”
Classy clinic in Orchard
Located on the 19th floor of Paragon, the clinic boasts a view of the scenic Orchard Road.
Here’s a look at what the clinic looks like:
(Photos taken without staff and patients to protect confidentiality.)
After being amazed by the view, I was ushered to take a series of tests.
We started off with the blood test, arguably the toughest part for me, of the entire health screening.
However, the experience was almost painless, thanks to the exceptionally experienced nurse.
After that, I also took a series of general wellness tests including eye tests and a colour vision test.
As part of the health screening, I also provided a urine and stool sample for analysis.
Apart from that, the Essential Health Screening Package includes:
- Body index analysis
- Chest X-Ray
- Pap smear
And of course, there was a medical examination and consultation with Dr Tay.
During the consultation, I took the opportunity to ask Dr Tay about health monitoring for women:
As someone in her mid-20s, what should I opt for during a health screening?
According to Dr Tay, someone in their 20s can do a basic health screening to check for the following:
- Blood sugar levels
- Liver function
- Kidney function
- Chest X-Ray
- Urine and stool analysis
Dr Tay also recommended for patients in their 20s who might have recurrent menstrual issues to go for a check-up to check on their hormones for signs of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Patients who are looking to start a family can also opt for the pre-marital screening to detect for thalassemia traits or infections that may affect pregnancy.
How often should I go for a health screening?
Unless one has a family medical history, or medical concern, Dr Tay recommends patients who are 40 years old and above to go for a comprehensive health screening once a year.
As a woman, when should I start going for regular mammogram or ultrasound scans?
Once a woman approaches her 40s, she is recommended to go for a mammogram, ultrasound breast, ultrasound pelvis and a pap smear once a year.
What vaccinations are recommended for me?
As someone in her mid-20s, Dr Tay reminded me to get my human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
A HPV vaccine helps to protect against specific types of HPV infection that may lead to cervical cancer.
According to HealthHub, cervical cancer is the 10th most common cancer in Singapore. However, if detected early, treatment can be 100 per cent effective.
Singaporeans aged nine to 26 years old can get coverage of up to S$500 per year to pay for two types of HPV immunisation: Cervarix or Gardasil.
The entire screening experience was completed in about an hour.
I was also provided refreshments like a cup of hot Milo and biscuits, as well as a S$10 Ya Kun Kaya Toast voucher to break my fast, which made for a very hospitable and pleasant experience.
A week later, I scheduled for a post-screening review via a phone call with Dr Tay.
In case a phone call or in-clinic review isn’t preferred, there is also an option to do the review via video consult through the HealthPass by OCBC app.
She shared with me the results of my health screening and advised me on how I can better manage my health.
Apart from the phone call, I also received a detailed personal report (both a hardcopy and softcopy), which includes a recommended diet and exercise.
Overall, the entire process -- from booking an appointment to the post-health screening review -- was seamless.
Except for the physical health screening, everything else could have been done online. This is especially convenient for time-strapped younger folks like myself who prefer to do things online.
The Essential Health Screening package is available at S$403.20 for appointments booked with the Thomson Wellth Clinic through the HealthPass app.
This is recommended for people in their 20s.
For those that are 30 years or older, or individuals who are looking for a more comprehensive screening, the Comprehensive Health Screening package is also available through the HealthPass app at S$808.20.
All prices are inclusive of GST.
As good health is an ongoing journey, even if you don’t currently have a health concern, it is good to get a comprehensive health screening.
This will help ease any worries, and as a baseline comparison for future health screenings.
This experience has shown me that health is important, and that the costs are offset by knowing that I am potentially avoiding more expensive health treatments in the future.
As the saying goes: Health is wealth.
This sponsored article by OCBC has reminded the writer to stick to her diet, as recommended by the doctor.