Singapore

MOH to ensure Singapore has resources for coronavirus fight

As the pandemic rages on, Singapore will work to ensure it has the resources to treat coronavirus patients and deal with sudden surges in case numbers.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday said his ministry will continue to maintain "adequate quarantine and community isolation capacity" in case of a surge.

It will also tap data and technology to improve the country's ability to respond quickly to evolving situations and contain outbreaks, he added in the Ministry of Health (MOH) addendum to the President's Address.

Said Mr Gan: "We are committed to continuing our fight against Covid-19, while also continuing to transform and strengthen our health systems in a sustainable way for the long term."

Laying out Singapore's approach to the fight against Covid-19, Mr Gan warned that further waves of the disease are possible as long as a vaccine remains out of reach.

To that end, MOH will make sure Singapore has the resources to care for all Covid-19 patients.

Singapore will also work with its international partners to share information on cases, and remains "actively involved" in developing vaccines and treatments for the virus, Mr Gan said.

Digitalisation projects to do with telehealth and remote working for staff will be accelerated, with MOH working on plans to improve career development and welfare in the sector.

It will press on with long-term plans to expand healthcare capacity, keep medical costs affordable and help Singaporeans stay healthy.

The ministry has plans to make preventive healthcare more accessible and affordable, and extend more help to vulnerable groups such as seniors and young people at risk of mental health conditions.

The nationwide war against diabetes will continue.

Eldercare services will gradually expand their scope to include active ageing programmes or befriending schemes for the lonely, while new healthcare facilities are also in the pipeline.

Work is ongoing on schemes to keep healthcare affordable. For instance, benefits and premiums under the national health insurance scheme, MediShield Life, are under review to ensure Singaporeans are adequately protected against large medical bills.

Healthcare subsidy frameworks are also being reviewed, Mr Gan said.

Apart from its digitalisation projects, MOH will strengthen research and development and improve its data infrastructure.

The ministry will ramp up recruitment in the sector, even as it looks at how to improve career development and welfare of healthcare workers.

MEDICAL & HEALTH