Healthcare Group proposes Grading Scheme for Clinics
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The Healthcare Group (HCG) led by Minister of State Ms Hor Ker Futt has proposed a Grading Scheme for General Practitioner (GP) Clinics in Singapore.
"We were inspired by the success the National Environmental Agency had with improving the standard of hygiene and housekeeping at food stalls with their grading system. We believe a similar system will encourage GPs to achieve a higher standard of care and service, and allow consumers to make a more informed choice when patronising GPs," said Ms Hor.
"With the IT system now in place to monitor the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of all the clinics, it is now possible for us to publish this data on the Ministry's website. However, it is felt that the average consumer may find it inconvenient to have to access the web to find this information, and that they may have difficulty interpreting the data. Hence, we propose that this information be presented in a simple, easy-to-understand grading scheme, and make each clinic display this information prominently on the premises."
Under the proposed scheme, clinics in the top 10 percentile will be graded 'A', while those above the 75th percentile and the 50th percentile will be graded 'B' and 'C' respectively. Clinics below the 50th percentile will be given a 'D' grading.
"We understand that there may be concerns from GPs regarding this system. However, we will continue to monitor the KPIs and update the grades every quarter."
The HCG also had another inspiration from food stalls.
"We are also proposing that a system similar to the 'Healthier Choice' implemented by the Health Promotion Board for hawker stalls be adopted by clinics. Clinics which give their patrons the option to purchase cheaper generic medications will display a 'Ask for cheaper drugs' sticker at their dispensary counters."
Formed in August 2006, the HCG was given the task of studying how Singaporeans can continue to have access to good-quality healthcare at the out-patient, in-patient and step-down care stages, and be able to pay for it.
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