"That chronic diseases are major causes of death and human suffering remains a fact as in the past," Khaw said, adding that prompt treatment could be an effective tool in such circumstances. To help patients manage the cost associated with chronic diseases, Singapore will allow them to opt out of their Medisave accounts to co-pay chronic disease management programs.
Khaw said that such measures would allow people to take charge of their own health and keep the doctors updated with their progress in managing the disease. A Disease Management Advisory Committee of Experts has also been set up and this committee will also monitor the management programs.
It is estimated that about 1/4th of Singapore's 4 million population is affected by chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and stroke.