Singapore, 11 July 2023 – KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) and National University Hospital (NUH) have launched PaedsENGAGE (ENGagement and GP Empowerment), a pilot programme in partnership with general practitioners (GPs), to enhance the overall care and well-being of children in Singapore.
PaedsENGAGE is aimed at expanding the role of GPs in the community through dedicated training, and equipping them with the skills and knowledge required to manage paediatric medical conditions from their clinics. This includes assessing whether the child requires further observation or intervention at Children’s Emergency.
Associate Professor Sashikumar Ganapathy, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Emergency Medicine, KKH, said, “PaedsENGAGE is a significant step towards building a stronger paediatric healthcare ecosystem in Singapore. By collaborating with GPs, we can extend our reach and deliver comprehensive care to children in the community. This partnership will offer parents and caregivers greater access to care, so that more children can receive the appropriate treatment at the right time, close to home.”
For children with mild to moderate conditions, parents and caregivers are strongly encouraged to visit participating PaedsENGAGE GPs rather than the Children’s Emergency. This ensures that the child receives appropriate timely treatment, while also getting an assessment on whether a trip to the Children’s Emergency is necessary.
“We want to ensure that children who really need emergency care can be attended to as soon as possible. Time is especially crucial for those who come to Children’s Emergency with life-threatening conditions. Timely medical attention prevents further deterioration of their symptoms or long-term effects. It can save their lives,” added Associate Professor Sashikumar.
At Children’s Emergency, priority is given based on the severity of patients’ conditions, and not on a first-come-first-served basis. Children with life-threatening conditions are attended to first, and those assessed to have less severe ailments may have to wait longer for their turn. Common ailments include symptoms such as fever, cough, vomiting, diarrhoea, minor injuries and rashes.
Over 285 GPs certified as PaedsENGAGE GPs
Dr Jasmine Ho, Consultant, Children’s Emergency, Khoo Teck Puat – National University Children’s Medical Institute, NUH, said, “Under the PaedsENGAGE programme, GPs will be certified as PaedsENGAGE GP Partners after completing a comprehensive training programme designed by KKH and NUH. Modules include approaches to common paediatric conditions such as abdominal pain, breathlessness, common eye, ear, nose and throat conditions, minor injuries, common infections, antibiotic use and more.
“To ensure continuity of care, children who are referred to KKH or NUH’s Children’s Emergency by PaedsENGAGE GPs will be referred back to the same GP for follow-ups where required. In doing so, GPs will have a better understanding of the child’s medical history, and they will be able to play a bigger role in supporting the child’s healthcare needs as the child grows up.”
PaedsENGAGE’s aims are in line with the Healthier SG programme, which encourages individuals to take charge of their own healthcare needs by enrolling with a single doctor who will support them in their health needs throughout their lives. Paediatric patients who are referred to KKH or NUH Children’s Emergency by PaedsENGAGE GPs will receive a $50 subsidy on prevailing attendance fees.
Since the launch of the pilot programme in April this year, PaedsENGAGE has certified over 285 GPs. The programme will be gradually extended to more GPs across Singapore.
Seek appropriate and timely medical attention based on the child’s medical condition
On average, KKH and NUH see approximately 15,000 and 3,800 cases respectively at its Children’s Emergency each month, with a large number of children found to have common ailments that do not require emergency care. Visiting participating PaedsENGAGE GPs would be a better option especially for non-emergency ailments.
To help the caregiver make the decision on where to seek care, they can utilise:
As the leading specialist paediatric hospitals in Singapore, KKH and NUH are committed to advancing paediatric healthcare in Singapore through our partnerships with GPs in the community, and providing quality paediatric care within reach in the community through the PaedsENGAGE programme.
For more information about PaedsENGAGE and the list of partnering PaedsENGAGE GPs, please visit:
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