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Singapore Government

Healthcare Services

Healthcare Services

Header banner for Healthcare services, depicting a doctor attending to a person with disability on a wheelchair.

Continual efforts to ensure that government healthcare facilities are accessible.

  • Staff at hospitals receive training to render assistance where possible and needed. Hospitals may also utilise services of sign language translators or use writing or pictorial aids as needed when engaging the Deaf and hard-of-hearing, or persons with speech impairment. Caregivers or spokespersons are involved where possible.
  • All polyclinics have been built with barrier-free access in mind, with accessibility features like Braille lift buttons, visual stickers, non-slippery flooring and tactile tiles for those with visual impairment, wheelchair ramps, spacious toilets, widened doorways, grab rails along staircases and lifts, hearing enhancement aids at service counters, and priority seats for persons with additional needs.
  • Information is available in several formats to meet different communication needs. Polyclinic staff may also use pictorial aids and labels to explain medication instructions to patients and/or caregivers. Patient information leaflets and other educational material on health are given to patients are also available.
  • All government healthcare facilities have service ambassadors or volunteer guides who are trained to proactively assist patients, including those with disabilities, in navigating facilities, and alerting the relevant healthcare workers to patients’ needs.

In 2015, MOH launched MediShield Life, a basic health insurance scheme that provides Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents with universal and lifelong protection against large healthcare bills.
  • MediShield Life automatically covers all Singaporeans from birth, including those with congenital and neonatal conditions.
  • MediShield Life covers expenses incurred for hospitalisations and certain costly outpatient treatments such as kidney dialysis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer.
  • Various premium subsidies and support measures to help Singapore Residents with their MediShield Life premiums:
    • Premium Subsidies for lower- to middle-income households
    • Additional Merdeka Generation (MG) Subsidies for all MG seniors
    • Special Pioneer Generation (PG) Subsidies for all PG seniors
    • Additional Premium Support for the needy who are unable to afford their premiums even after subsidies and have limited family support.
    Singaporeans who face difficulty in paying for their remaining bills after Government subsidies, insurance and MediSave may apply for MediFund at any public hospitals, national speciality centres and polyclinics.

MOH has been building up the pipeline of trained professionals in special needs dentistry.
  •  Scholarships have been launched to increase the number of trained professionals in special-needs dentistry.
  • As at 2017, nine MOH scholarships were given out for Geriatric and Special Needs Dentistry. Three of the recipients took up Special Needs Dentistry, five pursued the local Prosthodontics track followed by one year of overseas Geriatric Dentistry residency, while one took up Oral Medicine specially catered for the niche group of medically complex patients with oral manifestations.
  • As at 2020, there are 2 national specialty centres (National Dental Centre Singapore and National University Centre for Oral Health Singapore) with the capability to manage patients with special needs as well as over 60 dental clinics across Singapore with general dental practitioners who are able to provide routine dental care for adults with special needs.

Between 2017 and 2020, two pilot clinics were set up to provide specialised primary care and preventative health services to persons with intellectual disabilities.
  • The Tote Board Community Healthcare Fund provided funding support for the two clinics:
    • In 2017, the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) set up the Developmental Disabilities Medical Clinic to deliver free specialised primary care and preventative health services to persons with intellectual disabilities. The clinic aims to provide integrated healthcare and well-being support to persons with intellectual disabilities, who often have complex health concerns.
    • In 2019, Tsao Foundation’s Intellectual Disability Service launched a pilot clinic to provide integrated health and social care services for adults with intellectual disability, and their ageing caregivers. This clinic addresses the healthcare and social needs of both the adults with intellectual disability and their caregivers as a unit.

In 2018, MOH and AIC launched a Disability Resource List for General Practitioners (GPs).
  • This resource list contains the various schemes and services available to persons with disabilities, so that GPs can refer patients with disabilities to suitable support.

In 2018, new or redeveloped polyclinics with dental services introduced wheelchair tilters.
  • New or redeveloped polyclinics with dental services are equipped with wheelchair tilters, which allow wheelchair users to receive dental treatment without the need to be transferred to a dental chair.

MSF and MAS plan to issue a set of guidelines for private insurers when dealing with persons with disabilities. This will provide greater assurance that persons with disabilities who apply for private insurance are treated fairly.
  • MAS has also been engaging with the various insurance industry associations on fair and responsible insurance practices towards persons with disabilities.
  • MSF and MAS are working to issue the set of guidelines after a period of public feedback.
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