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When was the last time you had a health screening?

Can’t remember? Here’s a piece of good news that might give you enough push to make your next appointment.

If you are a Singaporean and at least 40 years old, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) has enhanced the Screen for Life programme to make health screening more accessible and affordable for you!

You can get tested for colorectal cancer, cervical cancer as well as chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood cholesterol, for just $5 or less if you meet the eligibility criteria. Pioneer Generation cardholders can get these screenings done free of charge.

Even if you are below 40 years old, you are eligible for the same subsidies if your risk of developing diabetes is higher. Don't know if you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes? You can check out your risk here.

So what’s holding you back?

Related: The ABCs of Health Screening

Why Not? Common Reasons for Putting Off Health Screening

woman worried about screening

1. You feel well and think screening is unnecessary.

If you think health screening is only for the older adults, think again! Many conditions have no symptoms and it is better to detect them sooner, not later. Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and high blood cholesterol, which are well managed from an early stage are less likely to lead to undesirable complications. Many cancers when detected early can be nipped in the bud too.

Related: If You Think Thin People Don't Get Diabetes, Think Again!

2. You are too busy.

Long hours at work, family matters, exercise, hobbies… we know there are too many things fighting for your time and health screening is always something relegated to the future. If this sounds familiar, do your future self a favour by moving health screening up your to-do list today! Giving it a little time now will save you from having to deal with more serious conditions down the road that demand even more attention.

Related: Make a Commitment to Get Screened for Better Health This Year

3. It’s not exactly comfortable.

You are worried about the discomfort during the health screening, or feel shy about the process. It is better to endure a little discomfort now and prevent downstream health issues which can be even more uncomfortable.

Related: 5 Ways to Psych Yourself for a Mammogram

4. You are secretly fearing the worst.

Your mind is filled with “what ifs”. Maybe it’s better not to know. But putting off any form of bad news only means getting it when it’s worse. And who says it cannot be good news? Opt for peace of mind rather than not knowing.

Related: 4 Key Facts about Cancer in Singapore’s Context

5. You prefer to leave it to fate.

Think again, would you leave the health of your loved ones to fate? Chances are, your loved ones would want you to be more proactive about your health too. Think of those you love and do not leave your health (and their happiness) to chance. Early detection saves lives.

Related: Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Influenza A (H1N1)

6. You aren’t exactly sure where to go, what to do.

You can start with the screening tests recommended under the Screen for Life programme, at any CHAS GP clinic near you. Visit www.chas.sg to locate the CHAS GP clinics close to you.

Related: Type 2 Screening Tests — By Age and Gender

7. You’d rather save the cost, both for the health screening and any subsequent treatment required.

Now, with enhanced screening subsidies under the Screen for Life programme going at $5 or less (including a doctor’s consultation for your visit, and the first follow-up consultation, if required), and there are various subsidies for treatment in the hospitals too. No more excuses not to get screened!

Related: How Screening Saved My Life

Why Not Now? Health Screening is Now Cheaper and More Accessible

 

Here's what you can do:

  1. If you are between 18 and 39 years old:

    • Start with the Diabetes Risk Assessment

    • Should you be at higher risk and fall within the Screen for Life eligibility criteria, an email invitation for subsidised screening will be sent to you. Simply use your SingPass to log in and claim your subsidy.

  2. If you are female and 25 years old and above:

    • Go for your cervical cancer screening if you have ever had sex.

  3. If you are 40 years old and above:

    • Check the recommended health screenings for you under the Screen for Life programme.

    • Wait for a Screen for Life invitation letter from HPB to all eligible Singaporeans.

  4. Make an appointment with your nearest CHAS GP clinic. It is recommended that you produce the Screen for Life invitation letter when you visit your preferred CHAS GP Clinic to ensure that the CHAS-GP is aware of your eligibility for the enhanced subsidies.

Related: Polyclinics that Provide Screening Services

  1. Tell your family, or a friend of your appointment, so that they can remind you to stick to it. Remind yourself too, such as by sticking a reminder on your fridge!

  2. Take note of the preparation needed (such as fasting and attire) and go for the screening on the appointed date. You can find out more from the Screen for Life booklet that will be sent together with your screening invitation letter.

  3. Wait for the results:

    • If you get an “all clear”—good for you! Continue to keep up with a healthy lifestyle.

    • If there are any red flags—it is important that you follow up regularly with your doctor. It is cheaper and more effective to treat health problems early before they become full blown health crises. There are also financial assistance schemes available for further check-ups — like Medisave, Medishield Life and Medifund.

Get screened today — for better health, and for a better life!


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