At the opening of the new Bukit Panjang Polyclinic today (Oct. 2), health minister Ong Ye Kung said that a new and larger polyclinic will be open in Tiong Bahru by 2030.
Ong added that the Ministry of Health (MOH) is planning for a total of 32 polyclinics in Singapore by 2030, including nine more polyclinics with integrated developments.
Tiong Bahru polyclinic to open by 2030
The existing polyclinics at Bukit Merah and Outram, which opened in 1981 and 1997 respectively, will be consolidated into a larger polyclinic at Tiong Bahru by 2030, said Ong.
This is to serve the rising and evolving healthcare needs of the residents in the area.
Ong said that the upcoming Tiong Bahru polyclinic will be more spacious, and will provide better services with elderly-friendly and accessibility features.
The existing Bukit Merah and Outram Polyclinics will continue to serve residents until the new polyclinic in Tiong Bahru opens, said MOH in a press release on Oct. 2.
More details, including the new polyclinic's location, will be shared when ready, added MOH.
32 polyclinics by 2030
Due to Singapore's ageing population and the concomitant increase in the prevalence of chronic disease, Ong said that the polyclinics in Singapore are "taking on an increasingly important role in healthcare", where they must "increasingly anchor our healthcare system".
As such, the network of polyclinics will be expanding, including nine more new polyclinics with integrated developments, such as healthcare facilities, or community facilities.
One example is Sembawang Polyclinic, which will be part of an upcoming community hub called Bukit Canberra, which has sports facilities, such as swimming pools, a gym, an indoor sport hall, park and hawker centre.
The other eight polyclinics will be at Kaki Bukit, Khatib, Serangoon, Tampines North, Tengah, Yew Tee, Bidadari and Bishan.
These new polyclinics will provide services from medical treatment for acute conditions and chronic disease management, to women and child health services, allied health services, and radiological, laboratory and pharmacy services.
New models of care
Ong added that there will also be new models of care implemented within these polyclinics.
One example is the introduction of team-based care models for chronic patients, who will be attended to by a regular and multi-disciplinary care team.
Ong said that this allows for continuity in the patient's treatment, and fosters a relationship and trust between patients and their care team.
Ong added that one benefit of regular care teams will be their ability to help patients make medical decisions.
He gave the example of persuading seniors to get vaccinated, comparing his own experiences with that of a doctor who has built up years of relationship with their elderly patients, who would be "in a totally different position".
"They just say 'aunty go and take, uncle go and take' and they [the patients] will go and take."
Bukit Panjang and Kallang Polyclinic now open
The new Bukit Panjang Polyclinic at 50 Woodlands Road is Singapore's 21st polyclinic.
A new Kallang Polyclinic also opened at 701 Serangoon Road today (Oct. 2), with another polyclinic at Eunos slated for opening by mid-December 2021.
This marks a total of three new polyclinics in 2021, all of which have integrated developments.
Bukit Panjang Polyclinic is a 12-storey integrated healthcare facility, which is shared with a nursing home, Senja Care Home, and a senior care centre, Vanguard Senior Care (Senja).
Senja Care Home and Vanguard Senior Care (Senja) have a capacity of 365 beds and 60 day-care places, and will collectively offer residential care, day care, community rehabilitation and physiotherapy services.
Kallang Polyclinic has a chronic sick unit and is co-located at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, while the soon-to-open Eunos Polyclinic is co-located with a senior care centre.
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Top image by Low Jia Ying