NOTICE PAPER NO. 1079
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 5 APRIL 2022
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Yip Hon Weng
MP for Yio Chu Kang GRC
Question No. 2697
To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether the Ministry conducts service planning to determine the number of clinics that offer Swab and Send Home (SASH) service for each residential area; (b) whether the ratio is different for estates with a high concentration of senior residents and low-income residents and, if so, how is the ratio different; and (c) what is the Ministry’s approach to encourage higher SASH sign-up rates by clinics in areas that are projected to require more SASH utilisation.
To manage the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage all clinics to join the Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPC) scheme and the Swab-and-Send-Home (SASH) programme. The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) also reaches out to support clinics with onboarding. However, there are some clinics that are not suitable to be on the SASH programme due to factors such as infrastructural and/or manpower constraints (e.g. need for dedicated swabbing area).
MOH and AIC have engaged and onboarded over 900 PHPCs that offer Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swabs and/or Antigen Rapid Tests (ART). These PHPCs are located island-wide, with an average of around 20 such clinics within each town.
To further enhance the accessibility of these tests in the community, MOH has also introduced COVID-19 testing facilities for various test purposes, including 224 Quick Test Centres (QTCs) providing ART and 11 Combined Test Centres (CTC) providing ART and PCR. In addition, all polyclinics provide COVID-19 PCR and ART swab tests for their patients. For home-bound clients, there are also more than 20 home care providers that can provide PCR tests if they require such tests.
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, MOH will continue to work closely with the COVID-19 testing providers to ensure that the necessary testing resources are in place and accessible to all.