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Mr Cheng Wai Keung, Chairman, SingHealth


Professor Lee Chien Earn, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer (Regional Health System), SingHealth


Dr David Ng, CEO, SingHealth Polyclinics


Dr Lee Yik Voon, Chairman, GP+


Ms Kim Suyeon, Country President, AstraZeneca


Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,  


1.             Thank you very much for inviting me to join you here today and a very good morning to all of you. I am happy to be here at the launch of the Primary Care Research Institute (PCRI). The PCRI demonstrates a collective partnership between the public and private sectors. This will play an important part in shaping the future of primary care research here in Singapore.


Launch of PCRI


2.             The launch of PCRI underscores the importance of primary care in our healthcare system. It aims to bring together evidence-based research and practical solutions that will directly improve the lives of our patients. It is a pivotal step that SingHealth Polyclinics (SHP). They are taking to foster a healthier Singapore, and they are doing this with closer collaboration with the private primary care space through the GP+ Cooperative.


3.             The PCRI will cover three main themes. These three themes are very much aligned with our vision for the primary care sector. First, to explore new models of primary care services, and do this through conducting primary healthcare research relevant to our context here in Singapore. This is quite important given our unique healthcare ecosystem consisting of polyclinics and private clinics; the pertinent healthcare challenges that we face, including the issue that we talked about at some length –   our ageing population.


4.             As a collaborative platform across the polyclinics to the private clinics and the industry, PCRI is set to play an important role in responding quickly, through research, to key problem statements in primary care today; conducting and translating research into concrete, implementable, and cost-effective solutions are needed. Secondly, as a collaboration platform to upskill healthcare professionals, PCRI is committed to support multidisciplinary primary care professionals, including family doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, in enhancing their skills and acquiring research skills beyond their clinical practice and scope of practice. These professionals will then be able to benefit from the PCRI’s workshops and e-learning platforms, which provide updates on evidence-based medicine and research methodology.


5.             Thirdly, facilitating better self-care and raising health literacy among the general population. This will be done through the co-creation and validation of technology tools, enabling access to high quality and cost-effective primary care that is informed by the latest research findings and fuelled by innovation. Individuals among the population will be empowered to take charge of their own health through the PCRI’s public health initiatives, including forums that target the general public and opportunities for patients to enhance their own health literacy.


6.             PCRI will engage patients, caregivers, and the general public in the development of study protocols beyond their participation as subjects in the research project. To achieve this, PCRI has formed an expert group of patients and caregivers who have undergone structured training conducted by SHP, and are consulted on a regular basis, and this is an opportunity to gather direct feedback on research projects and studies to be conducted, giving voice to the participants who are subsequently, potentially the subjects of research. Through evidence-based research and a commitment to best practices, we will be able to adopt a more patient-centric approach to enhance the quality of patient care and refine clinical practices.


7.             The launch of PCRI is just one of many efforts that the Ministry of Health and our partners are undertaking to encourage collaborative research in primary care technologies, care redesign, process improvement, and capability development. Other initiatives include the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine’s Primary Care Research Network, the MOH Office for Healthcare Transformation’s future primary care initiatives like the Primary Technology Enhanced Care programme, the National University Health System’s Primary Care Research Unit, and the National Healthcare Group’s Primary Care Academy.


8.             So all these taken together gives us great confidence that we can work together and that we can synergise off of each other’s strengths. We can grow our collective knowledge and expertise across the care continuum. With a holistic understanding of health issues within our local setting, we can better review the effectiveness of our current practices, evolve our current practices, innovate and most importantly, enhance patient care. We need for this to happen to then create an effect across our entire healthcare ecosystem. I encourage every one of you to be active participants in this journey, engage in the research initiatives, and contribute your unique perspectives to the discourse and discussions.




9.             I would like to very much thank those of you here from SHP, GP+ and AstraZeneca, for yourcollaborative efforts in building this base of knowledge, and setting ourselves up for our efforts in PCRI. Your commitment and your effort is very much the driving force behind the transformation that PCRI represents.


10.          Once again, good morning and as the Member of Parliament here, welcome to Punggol. Thank you.

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