With the prevalent concern over aging population and increased chronic disease prevalence in Singapore, there have been significant changes to the healthcare landscape. Advancements in technologies have given rise to new and fast changing healthcare services, where services can be delivered wholly or partially through mobile and online channels.

One of the main subject widely discussed in recent years is about connected healthcare, an area that has seen increased investments as well. By the virtue of digital devices in our daily lives, technology has also radically changed how patients and healthcare providers communicate with one another.

Technology is impacting many aspects of our lives through breakthrough in data collection, which promotes and enables knowledge sharing within the healthcare industry to provide better and informed healthcare services to patients and drive better decision-making.

Tentatively by mid-2018, MOH (Ministry of Health) intends to replace the existing PHMCA (Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act- last amended in 1999) with the new HCS Bill to remain current with the existing healthcare landscape. The new framework aims to strengthen governance and enabling the development of new and innovative healthcare services to provide regulatory clarity, and at the same time drive the NEHR (National Electronic Health Record) initiative for better coordination and continuity of care and patient safety.

The following are some key highlights of the new HCS Bill:

  • Brooded scope of coverage to include more areas of healthcare services, such as allied health, traditional medicine and complementary medicine.

  • Healthcare providers will be licensed based on type of services rendered, as opposed to the current licensing framework based on physical premises. This will allow healthcare providers to operate at multiple sites under one license*.

  • Roles and responsibilities of key personnel will refined, with a new role of Clinical Governance Officer (CGO) required for selected services. The CGO will be responsible for clinical and technical oversight of complex procedures to safeguard the safety and well-being of patients.

  • MOH will also be empowered to “step-in” and assist in the operations of failing healthcare services (whenever necessary) to protect and safeguard patients against abrupt discontinuation of residential care services.

  • Licensees under the new HCS Bill will be required to contribute to the NEHR. With the rise of complex care need for patients which requires coordinated care across different providers, the NEHR enables their health records to follow them throughout their patient journey. This also supports better assessment and decision making amongst healthcare providers with “One Patient, One Health Record”.

IHIS will render assistance to all licensees through workshops, clinical support and financial support such as digitization grants, MOH-funded systems and Early Contribution Incentive (ECI) scheme.

If you have any queries over any part of the Act, you may write to CSA_Enquiries@moh.gov.sg

For more details on NEHR and the support that you can receive, please click here. For NEHR queries, you may write to nehr.feedback@ihis.com.sg