Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah

MP for Nee Soon GRC

Question No. 368

To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the average size that each integrated healthcare cluster will serve; (b) how does it compare to Hong Kong; (c) how will this new clustering benefit the public in expediting the waiting time at A&E departments; and (d) how will this improve the average waiting period for a patient who needs to be scanned for suspected serious illnesses like cancer.

Written Answer

1 Each cluster will serve a population of 1-1.5 million Singapore residents. This is comparable to Hong Kong, which also has healthcare clusters serving populations of 0.5-1.8 million each.

2 Healthcare 2020 outlined our plan to expand capacity, improve quality and enhance the affordability of healthcare services. Even as we implement Healthcare 2020, we need to plan ahead further into the future. Last year, three key shifts to prepare for our healthcare needs beyond 2020 were announced: beyond hospital to community, beyond quality to value and beyond healthcare to health. This transformation is necessary as our healthcare needs will grow in volume and complexity due to our ageing population and increased chronic disease burden. For this reason, we need to organize ourselves better so that we can implement the transformation more swiftly and decisively.

3 The reorganisation will enable the integrated clusters to deliver more comprehensive and person-centered healthcare services that are appropriate and closer to the patients. This will help to reduce the need to access specialist care and the A&E at the hospitals.

4 The reorganisation will also facilitate scaling up of programmes and services to benefit more Singaporeans. In addition, the integrated clusters will be able to offer their employees a wider and deeper range of professional development opportunities, and a broader platform for cross-learning that will benefit staff and ultimately our patients.

Source: Ministry of Health, Singapore