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Seek follow-up treatment if needed

>> Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Straits Times, Aug 30, 2009
By Nur Dianah Suhaimi

MANY people rush for free health screenings but it is a problem getting them to seek follow-up treatment.

Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said usually about 10-15 per cent of the crowd which turn up at such screenings are found to be in the high-risk group. Many are elderly folks.

'Our advice is, please follow up with your GP. But very few do,' he noted on Saturday, at a public health screening event at AMK Hub.

On his friend who died recently from stomach cancer, Mr Khaw said: 'He's just about my age. He is not old but he was found to be in the fourth stage of cancer just a few months ago. So screening is important. I went for my own scope yesterday.'

He believes accessibility and cost are not the reasons people do not go for follow-up checks. Inertia is.

There are many GP clinics which are usually a walk or a bus ride away from where people live.

The low-income group, including the elderly, can get subsidies at polyclinics and now at GP clinics too, under the Primary Care Partnership Scheme.

Mr Khaw hopes that more Singaporeans see the importance of exercising and leading a healthy lifestyle.

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