Singapore urgently requires more generalist doctors as the island’s population begins to age, according to the dean of one of the country’s leading medical schools.
Associate Professor of the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Yeoh Khay Guan, told the ‘Straits Times’ that the ageing population is the reason for the requirements.
He said: “It's not very good if our elderly parents see five doctors, it's better if there's a generalist to look after their needs. This does not necessarily mean just general practitioners, but also those trained in family medicine, and geriatric and palliative care.”
The calls came as the figures for the number of young medics training were released, with renal medicine and hand surgery amongst the areas with the biggest growths. Some more general areas showed a rise too, with the number of students training in internal medicine rising by 50% since 2012, whilst those specialising in geriatrics also reported a rise of almost a third in the same period.
Singapore is facing a challenging future, with the number of people over the age of 65 set to double by 2030. An increasingly elderly population brings with it a range of healthcare challenges; mainly managing long term conditions and finding beds to cope with the higher demand. Despite this it’s in a good position to cope, and planning for the future is at the forefront of healthcare development in the country.
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