New AMK polyclinic will cater for chronic diseases

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.
PHOTO: New AMK polyclinic will cater for chronic diseases

SINGAPORE - A new polyclinic being built in Ang Mo Kio will include facilities to help residents manage chronic diseases, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Sunday.

The polyclinic, which will be ready by 2018, could have physiotherapy services and enhanced facilities for patients with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

"With new flats being built and long-time residents growing up and growing old, we need to ensure residents have access to the services they need," Mr Gan said at a community event.

Details on the exact capacity and types of services the polyclinic should offer are being discussed and the public is invited to give suggestions, the minister added.

The polyclinic will also have beside it an eldercare centre able to provide day care and rehabilitation services for about 60 seniors.

Such support services would help seniors "age in an environment familiar to them" instead of going to hospitals or nursing homes, Mr Gan said.

"Working caregivers will also have peace of mind as their loved ones can be taken care of at the centre during the day," he added.

The polyclinic will be located in Ang Mo Kio Central 2, next to the public library, and will be larger than the current one.

The move to redevelop the Ang Mo Kio and Bedok polyclinics was announced in last year's Budget debate.

The current Ang Mo Kio polyclinic has served residents for more than 30 years and is now one of the busiest in Singapore, Mr Gan noted.

Patient load increased at an average of 2 per cent each year from 2009 to 2012 and hence the need for expansion.

To prevent disruption of services, the current polyclinic will continue to run until the new one is up, said the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, which will manage the new polyclinic.

Services that Ang Mo Kio residents can benefit from immediately are the subsidised tuition and information technology literacy classes at a new Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) centre in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.

About 700 residents have joined its programmes, which range from parenting workshops to Math Olympiad classes, since its soft launch in January.

Mr Seetoh Fei Seng, 40, paid $150 for two months for his three children to attend various enrichment programmes at the CDAC centre. The HomeTeamNS supervisor, who earns about $2,200 a month, was helped by a 90 per cent subsidy from the council.

"Private tuition is too expensive and the CDAC centre is right below my block, so classes are really convenient for my kids," he said.

This article was first published on June 30, 2014.
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