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State of the war on diabetes

The war on diabetes continues.

09 Mar 2017

The Ministry of Health shared an update on the war on diabetes during the Committee of Supply debates on Thursday, 9th March.

Speaking in Parliament, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said that the war on diabetes can be won if communities, employers, and individuals work together. Ministers of State for Health Dr Lam Pin Min and Chee Hong Tat also shared how the ministry was helping patients manage the disease and encourage a healthy lifestyle among Singaporeans.

HEALTHY LIVING AND EATING

Mobilising the community: The Community Network for Seniors (CNS) has set up Community Health Posts to make services such as health screening and monitoring more accessible to those in the heartlands. CNS will be expanded to the remaining precincts in the three participating GRCs – Tampines, Marine Parade, and Chua Chu Kang – by end-2017.

Proactive health management: The Health Promotion Board (HPB) will launch the “Healthhub Track” app in April 2017. The app will allow users to monitor and manage their health conditions using digital tools.

Encouraging healthy eating: MOH will be introducing the Healthier Ingredient Development Scheme (HIDS) from 1st July. The scheme will provide funding support for food manufacturers to develop products with healthier ingredients such as whole grains and healthier cooking oils.

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Programme enhancements: The Nephrology Evaluation, Management and Optimisation (NEMO) programme, which initiates and optimises kidney protective medication for suitable patients showing early signs of kidney disease, will be enhanced and extended. The new programme, Holistic Approach in Lowering and Tracking Chronic Kidney Disease (also known as HALT-CKD), will benefit more patients nationwide and will be implemented progressively at all polyclinics.

Equipping doctors: To better support primary care doctors to care for diabetic patients, the ministry will be rolling out two Appropriate Care Guides in July 2017. The guides will provide recommendations on medication for type-2 diabetes and pre-diabetes management.

Diabetic drugs: The Agency for Care Effectiveness (ACE) has evaluated two classes of patented diabetic drugs and will be listing the more cost-effective group under the Medication Assistance Fund (MAF), so as to allow eligible patients to apply for financial support for this drug.

Empowering patients: The ministry is developing a framework to allow patients to initiate and sustain lifestyle changes to better manage the disease.

RISK ASSESSMENT

Diabetes Risk Assessment tool: To encourage early and regular health screening, the ministry will be rolling out the Diabetes Risk Assessment (DRA) tool from 1st September. The DRA is an “evidence-based, self-administered” questionnaire to assess a person’s diabetes risk.

Screen For Life programme: Government subsidies for the Screen For Life programme will be enhanced to encourage more Singaporeans to go for screening and post-screening consultation at CHAS clinics. The fees for screening and first post-screening consultation will be fixed at S$5 for eligible Singaporeans and S$2 for CHAS cardholders. This service will be free for pioneers.

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