Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Mobile health screening project launched in Aljunied, Hougang

By Joy Fang, TODAY, 12 Jul 2015

A pilot programme promoting wellness and health literacy in a more personalised manner via a mobile clinic was today (July 12) launched in Workers’ Party-held Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC.

The Wellness Bus will make its way around these two constituencies to provide screenings for vision, hearing, nutrition and oral and bone health. It is also licensed as a mobile clinic and can thus provide vaccinations against the flu and pneumococcal disease.

These services are available as part of a membership programme by The Good Life Cooperative (TGLC).

Patients will also receive discounts on blood tests, vaccinations, health food supplements and diapers of up to 20 per cent, as TGLC makes its purchases in bulk and passes down the savings to its members, chairman Carol Tan said today.

This initiative, which is part of the People’s Association’s Wellness Programme, is a collaboration between grassroots organisations in Aljunied GRC and Hougang, and TGLC. The two buses in the programme were funded by PAP Community Foundation, which raised S$600,000 in one month through grassroots fundraising activities.

The initiative is also backed by the Ministry of Health, which is providing S$1 million over one-and-a-half years to support the manpower needed, as well as the Tote Board Community Healthcare Fund. Pfizer Singapore will also donate 200 pneumococcal vaccines.

TGLC is providing 3,000 free year-long memberships for the low-income group. Patients will be assigned a nurse, who will follow up with them at least four times a year.

The cooperative has 100 members, as well as 10 nurses and 40 to 50 volunteer doctors. Dr Tan added that TGLC was also looking into purchasing a third bus.

Speaking to reporters at the launch event, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the initiative is in line with the ministry’s strategy to bring healthcare services to the community. “We don’t want all our patients to go to the hospitals, because some issues are actually managed better in the community,” he said.

Dr Tan stressed that TGLC, which has been in operation for a year, is apolitical, and said the cooperative had been approached by the grassroots leaders of the two constituencies. “Health is above political affiliation ... Whoever desires to serve the community, and needs help and asks for our help, I will go,” she said.

Madam Teo Kin Nang, 70, said the mobile clinic is a good idea. “It’s convenient for the elderly who want to measure their blood pressure or cholesterol,” she said, adding she would like to get tested for heart disease.

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