Singapore

1 in 4 don't go for follow-up after health screening

A sizeable proportion of people who need to follow up on their screening do not do so, according to health screeners here.

SingHealth, which runs six to eight screenings a year, says one in four of those screened between July 2015 and the same month last year had not returned for a doctor's follow-up after a year.

Apparently, this is because many do not see their results as being serious enough to warrant a doctor's visit, or do not want any medication.

Singaporeans aged 40 and above can get screened for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and cervical and colorectal cancers at just $5 from September.

The fee includes screening and the first follow-up consultation with a doctor, and is even cheaper for those on the Community Health Assist Scheme or who are part of the pioneer generation.

Diabetes affects about 400,000 people in Singapore, while cervical and colorectal cancer are among the top cancers here. High blood pressure and cholesterol can increase a person's risk of heart attack and stroke.

Having affordable screenings is part of the Government's move to pick up such ailments early.

By including a first consultation in the $5 fee, it hopes to reduce the drop-off rates of those who test positive but do not follow up on the results.

Groups such as SingHealth, the Diabetic Society of Singapore and the Singapore Cancer Society also call people to remind them to make follow-up appointments.

The National Healthcare Group has post-screening talks to help people interpret their results.

"We also provide vouchers for subsidised consultations at participating general practitioner clinics nearby," its spokesman said.

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