About 170 General Practitioner (GP) clinics have stepped forward to extend their operating hours for two weeks, Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung said on Facebook on Feb. 24.
These clinics will extend their operating hours from Feb. 25 to Mar. 10, both dates inclusive, to help cope with the increased load of patients amid the Omicron wave.
The Omicron wave is likely to take a few weeks to peak and subside, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in an earlier press release.
Clinics extend operating hours to attend to an increase in patients
With the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, one problem surfaced was the increase in patients coming forward to hospitals, polyclinics and GP clinics despite having no or mild symptoms.
These patients would like to get an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) conducted by a medical professional and documented in MOH’s records, or to request for a medical certificate.
This has added significant workload to our healthcare providers who are already under significant pressure and stress, MOH said.
To spread out the load of patients, the health ministry has invited GP clinics to extend their operating hours two weeks ago, Ong said.
He is "most heartened" that these 170 clinics came forward despite being so busy already, Ong added.
Grant given to GP clinics that extend their operating hours
Ong also said a grant is provided to these GP clinics that will be extending their operating hours.
One of them took the initiative to pass down the grant to his five staff members at the clinic to recognise their hard work, Ong mentioned.
At the end of his post, Ong thanked all primary care clinics again.
Do not go to the hospital's emergency department unless it is an emergency
If you are unwell, you can look for a primary care doctor at a clinic near where you stay via flu.gowhere.gov.sg.
Do not go to the hospital's emergency department, unless it is an emergency.
Earlier this week, MOH announced that from Feb. 25 onwards, selected GP clinics across the island will operate till 11pm on weekday nights, between 2pm to 5pm on weekend afternoons. Some may also be open till 11pm on weekend nights.
Selected polyclinics will also be operating on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings.
You can also seek medical help via telemedicine consultations.
Follow and listen to our podcast here
Top image via Ong Ye Kung's Facebook, credit to Trinity Medical & Aesthetic Clinic.