Speech by Senior Minister of State for Manpower, Dr Koh Poh Koon, at Opening Ceremony of Fullerton Health Medical Centre for Migrant Workers and Launch of Project MOCCA
Senior Minister of State for Manpower, Fullerton Health Medical Centre for Migrant Workers
Mr Ho Kuen Loon, Group Chief Executive Officer, Fullerton Health
Dr Walter Lim, Managing Director for Singapore, Fullerton Health
Ladies and Gentlemen
- A very good evening to all of you. I am delighted to join you today for the opening of the Fullerton Health Medical Centre for Migrant Workers.
Launch of New Medical Centre for Migrant Workers
- This new medical centre is one of the six medical centres under the primary healthcare system which will provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare for our migrant workers. Collectively, the medical centres will cover over 300,000 workers across Singapore. Like our other anchor operators, Fullerton Health has taken a ‘population health’ approach that is tailored to the need of our migrant workers. Over 60,000 workers in the western region of Singapore can benefit from the integrated primary care services provided by Fullerton Health. This includes health education, preventive health services, as well as care for acute and chronic conditions at this medical centre, in addition to two other on-site medical centres in dormitories and via tele-medicine consultations. To minimise language and cultural barriers, the centre will also pair local healthcare teams with healthcare workers who understand our workers’ cultural background and speak their native languages. I am encouraged by the care provided by our anchor operators who have supported the physical health and well-being of our migrant workers.
Launch of Project MOCCA (Management of Oral and Chronic Conditions and Ailments)
- It is not enough to provide care only when our migrant workers are unwell. As my fellow doctors here will know, small habits in our daily lives can make a huge difference in preventing severe chronic illnesses later on in life. That is why the Government has embarked on the Healthier SG initiative, which marks a pivotal shift to focus on preventive care, emphasising prevention over treatment.
- In the same vein, we are now making preventive care a priority to further strengthen healthcare resilience amongst our migrant worker community. Since the introduction of the enhanced medical examination at our Onboard Centres in March 2021, around 1 in 8 of newly arrived migrant workers were detected to have at least one chronic disease, such as Diabetes Mellitus, hypertension or high cholesterol. If these conditions are not managed well, workers may over time develop severe complications which would impact their livelihoods.
- Therefore, I am happy to announce that MOM is launching a new preventive care framework named Project MOCCA, which is short for Management of Oral and Chronic Conditions and Ailments, to fortify our current efforts in healthcare resilience. This framework aims to strengthen health and oral health literacy among our migrant workers, as well as enable earlier detection and better disease management efforts at primary care touchpoints. We are doing these along three key thrusts.
- First, we will step up educational efforts to raise health literacy among migrant workers through a variety of outreach channels to address knowledge gaps and inculcate healthier practices. For example, we have developed a one-stop Health Library with topics ranging from chronic diseases, oral health, nutrition and mental health which are available on MOM’s website. Migrant workers can access these educational materials, which have been translated into their native languages, via their mobile phones or at the medical centres. In this way, they can learn useful health tips at their own pace and time.
- Health knowledge will also be further reinforced through regular outreach activities such as roadshows across the island. We cannot do this alone without working with our valued partners and there are already many such good health-related initiatives today. For example, we piloted a basic dental awareness and education programme with the Faculty of Dentistry at the National University of Singapore to educate 200 migrant workers on the importance of good oral health and how to identify dental issues early. Moving forward, Project MOCCA will explore ways to sustain these efforts with our partners to benefit even more migrant workers.
8. Second, we will ramp up efforts to strengthen early detection and management of common risk factors and chronic health conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia. Migrant workers enrolled onto the primary care plan (PCP) who are aged 40 years and above or with risk factors can undergo an annual basic health screening. Those detected with chronic diseases will have their follow-up care with their anchor operators. As part of the overall health intervention, anchor operators will also provide health education and self-care tips, alongside treatment of chronic diseases that is covered under the PCP.
9. Third, we will tighten processes to better treat and control disease progression through case management and post-discharge care coordination of migrant workers. This includes implementing referral pathways between anchor operators and tertiary healthcare institutions to facilitate appropriate care escalation for complex chronic conditions or complications, as well as referral back to their anchor operators.
10. Before I conclude, please allow me to say a few words in Mandarin.
我们也将把保健与疾病预防工作列为优先事项，进一步加强客工群体在医疗保健方面的韧性。新推出的口腔和慢性疾病管理计划 （Project MOCCA）有三大方向：
11. In closing, I would like to congratulate Fullerton Health on the launch of its medical centre. At the same time, I would also like to thank Fullerton Health, our other anchor operators and partners for their continued support in transforming the medical support system for our migrant workers with us.
12. Many helping hands make good work. While the Ministry of Manpower will play its part, we also need our anchor operators and community partners to partner us in strengthening primary and preventive care for our migrant workers. Our employers will also need to enable and encourage their workers to stay healthy and well. And it doesn’t stop there: our migrant workers will also need to play their part and take responsibility over their healthcare journey. Only by doing things collectively can we achieve better care for our migrant worker community. Thank you.