Parliament, 12 March 2014
Age-appropriate preventive health screenings have been recognised as a cost-effective way to identify health problems before they develop further and end up being more costly to treat.
However, many are reluctant to undergo health screenings because of the inconvenience, cost or fear that it will reveal health problems, whose treatment may be beyond their ability to pay for.
More resources should be invested in promoting regular health screening on a wider scale. High risk groups should be identified and greater efforts should be made to reach out to them.
To encourage greater adoption of health screening, I propose that all Singaporeans who reach age 40 be provided with one set of free health screening tests for common chronic conditions and cancers under HPB’s Integrated Screening Programme. This should include the cost of the doctor’s consultation.
Subsequent health screenings should be provided at subsidised rates, and patients should be allowed to use their Medisave to pay for the remaining cost.
Having more Singaporeans in high risk age groups undergo regular health screenings could reduce overall health expenditure, as diseases are detected earlier, hence requiring less costly interventions.