Seniors to get health checks costing as little as $5

Seniors to get health checks costing as little as $5

SINGAPORE - If you have an elderly parent who cites high costs as a reason for avoiding dental and eye checks, there is a new national health-screening programme that offers such checks from as little as $5.

The programme, launched yesterday by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), will offer tests and follow-up services to tackle the decline in the functional abilities of seniors, such as their vision and hearing.

Called the Community Functional Screening and On-site Follow-up Programme, it will start in South West District and be rolled out across the island in stages.

The screening is set to benefit 30,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents, aged 60 and above, within the next three years.

Speaking during the programme's launch at Hong Kah North Community Club, Dr Amy Khor, Minister of State for Health and mayor of South West District, said that inconvenience and cost are the key barriers preventing the elderly from seeking consultations.

HPB chief executive Ang Hak Seng said that a pilot, conducted over the past six months, did not include on-site follow- up services, and saw a follow-up rate of 35 per cent. He hopes that, with the introduction of such services on-site, the rate will rise to 95 per cent in the next five years.

Retiree Koo Su Lan, 73, was glad to get her teeth cleaned and a tooth fixed, along with other health services, for just $5.

Madam Koo said: "I usually wouldn't go for a dental check-up unless there's really a problem, because I'm afraid it will be expensive. It's good that it is so affordable."

For enquiries, call the HPB Health Line on 1800-223-1313.

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