SINGAPORE: Ang Mo Kio residents can look forward to a new polyclinic by early 2018, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Sunday.
It will replace the existing polyclinic in the area, and is expected to be much larger, offering better facilities and more comprehensive services.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced this on Sunday at the official opening of a new Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) Centre at Ang Mo Kio.
The existing Ang Mo Kio polyclinic has been serving residents for about three decades. Located at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, it is also one of the busiest in Singapore.
The polyclinic's patient load has been rising steadily -- with an average growth of 2 per cent per annum, from 2009 to 2012.
The new polyclinic, to be located at Ang Mo Kio Central 2, is expected to be able to meet the needs of the town's ageing and growing population.
Mr Gan said: "The services will place greater emphasis on chronic disease management and health promotion, as well as be able to meet the needs of an ageing and growing population in the coming years.
"At the same time, we would like to help our seniors to age in place gracefully and in an environment that is familiar to them. Therefore, we will co-locate an eldercare centre at the polyclinic."
He said the eldercare centre will provide both health services, such as rehabilitation services, and social care services, such as day care services, for frail elderly residents living in the area.
This will give working caregivers a peace of mind as their loved ones can be taken care of at the centre during the day, and be back at home with them later in the evening after work.
Mr Gan added that the polyclinic's redevelopment is in the planning stage, and residents would be invited to give ideas on what type of healthcare services they require and would like to see in the polyclinic.
Construction is expected to begin in the second half of next year. The existing polyclinic will remain open till the new one is built in 2018.
On CDAC's Ang Mo Kio centre, Mr Gan said a management committee has been formed to help organise programmes that are more relevant to the local needs.
The committee comprises grassroots leaders, school principals and representatives from government and private organisations.
The CDAC@Ang Mo Kio centre helps students, workers and their families, and is the 12th such centre islandwide. It started operation about five months ago and already has about 700 members.
Grace Fu, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and chairman of CDAC's community outreach and co-ownership committee, said: "When we look at the distribution of our centres, we found that we actually need one in Ang Mo Kio GRC because this has a high concentration of Chinese and high proportion of elderly also. This is quite a mature town, so we found that demographics require us to be present here."
Programmes for seniors have been the most popular so far. More than 220 senior citizens have benefited from various courses -- such as basic IT and conversational English.
The centre also offers programmes for students, workers and families. - CNA/xq/ac
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