Only 8% take up health screening invitations?

$5 health screening invitation

I refer to the article “$5 health screening: Letters out from August” (Sunday Times, Apr 16).

It states that “The $5 covers tests and, should any prove positive, a consultation with a doctor. The 400,000 Pioneers get the screening for free, while those with the Chas card pay just $2. Without the subsidy, it costs about $100.

Today, many people here who suffer from chronic ailments are not aware of it, so they do not take steps to keep them under control, leading to major health problems.

The MOH thinks about a third of diabetics are not aware they have this disease that, uncontrolled, could lead to kidney failure, blindness and amputations.

Similarly, many people who have high cholesterol and blood pressure levels also do not know of them, since there are no symptoms in the early stages. But uncontrolled over time, they raise the risk of getting heart problems and stroke. Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer for men, and second in the list behind breast cancer for women.”

Only 8% take up health screening invitations?

According to a Parliamentary reply on 21 October, 2013 – “The total number of residents aged 40 years and older who received 1st invitation letters and rescreen invitations were 490,000 in 2011 and 200,000 in 2012. In 2011, 36,000 people attended health screening under the ISP and 19,000 people in 2012”.

So, does it mean that the percentage who took up the health screening invitation was only about eight per cent (55,000 (36,000 + 19,000) divided by 690,000 (490,000 + 200,000))?

Why was the take up rate so low?

Perception that healthcare is unaffordable?

One of the primary reasons may be the perception that healthcare is unaffordable.

Prevention better than cure

Whilst I applaud the Ministry of Health for this big step to focus more on prevention rather than cure (“Prevention is better than cure, as costs keep rising” (Sunday Times, Apr 16) – we may need to address the perception that healthcare may be unaffordable.

Subsidised & non-subsidised routes?

There are two routes in out public healthcare system – the subsidised and non-subsidised route.

Delays if select subsidised route?

As the subsidised route is often plaqued by delays of up to months for procedures, treatments, tests, or just simply to see a specialist, etc – some patients or their family members may opt for non-subsidised treatment (Class B1 and A), without realising that the total bills in B1 may be a few times more than C or B2.


Leong Sze Hian



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7 Responses to “Only 8% take up health screening invitations?”

  • Amos humiliate L*L and PAP:

    Why not free? How much does the health screening actually cost the Government? Most likely less than $5.00.

    “Subsidy” is really a “dirty word” in Singapore. PAP claims public housing is “subsidised (and affordable)” but refuses to disclose the actual cost (to Government as a whole) for building hDB flats? Why? There can be only one reason. PAP has been lying to Singaporeans. The Government actually makes billi0ns each years from HDB flats. The money is kept in SLA.

    Amos’ victory in US Court proves that PA cannot be trusted. PAP is bunch of greedy thugs who “use and abuse” Singaporeans so it can stay in power indefinitlely and pay its office holders millions each year.

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  • nizhemoshou:

    DO u think when the abominable scrooge pap govt offers such basic health screenings cheap, they are being kind n compassionate ? OR do you think it is more a marketing strategy to bring more business, hence increased profits for their already very profitable public/pte hospitals and specialist clinics?

    If pap scrooges are really concerned with the well being of SGs, they should truly subsidise n keep the costs of health care low instead of making profits n increasing the costs all the time. They mus in tandem also reduce the waiting time for appointments to consult specialist,to do diagnostic and/or other non basic tests and to have the prescribed treatment to be less than 1 mth in total. Instead all these appointments add to more than 6 mths long . To the damn pap, the longer the waiting time the better. It is one of their tools to force Sgs to pay pte rates if they want to escape the long waiting time. For those who cant escape , too bad they have to suffer to see their condition worsen or bcoming untreatable by the end of the waiting.

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  • KNN:

    The reason why most of the older sinkies don’t go for this $5 checkup is because they know even if discover got health problems — So what?!?!?! It will then take another $5,000 or $50,000 for follow-ups, specialist consultations, hospital visits, medical procedures, long-term medications, etc etc. If cancer then be prepared for the average of $250,000 costs in S’pore before you up lorry.

    If PAPies got the guts & morals to guarantee $5 operations & hospital stays, confirm 100% Sinkies will go for the checkups. Better than Cow’s $8 bypass.

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  • Old Moon:

    Quote: “Perception that healthcare is unaffordable?
    One of the primary reasons may be the perception that healthcare is unaffordable.” Unquote

    Healthcare is unaffordable to many. It is not a PERCEPTION, it is REAL!

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  • No choice:

    No money, better eat than see doctor. Have some money, better spend carefully and not see doctor. Have plenty of money, okay to see doctor. Take your pick?

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  • LIONS:

    health screening $5.


    they make you bankrupt n deplete all your MEDISAVE???

    very schemeful n $hameful indeed.

    GD Star Rating
  • Change We Must:

    The $5 test is very basic.The seniors require a full blood test to be effective to root out their health problems.

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