Housecall Doctors Are Growing in Demand in HDB Estates. Here Are Some Reasons Why.
“Housecall doctors? So expensive!”
This is a common assumption that we hear from Singaporeans whenever we bring up our housecall services. But, while these services may be more expensive than going to a polyclinic, it has also become increasingly affordable in recent years. That, coupled with the convenience of having a doctor come right to your home, has made housecall medical services more popular especially amongst those with very young children or elderly dependents.
As the demand for housecall doctors increase across the country, we are beginning to see more and more patients in HDB estates. This should hardly be surprising, considering that around 80% of Singapore’s resident population lives in HDB housing. With many other medical resources like general practitioner (GP) clinics and even polyclinics in the heartlands, why exactly are more Singaporeans moving towards housecall medical services?
Singaporeans love convenience. It is why a whopping 70% of Singaporeans use food delivery services at least once a month and a reported 75% engage in online shopping instead of going to the store. We are willing to fork out a little more money for convenience and medical care is no exception.
For families with young children or elderly dependents, convenience is a priority when considering a doctor. After all, if you’re an able-bodied adult, a trip to the clinic might not be too stressful. But imagine if you’ve got an elderly parent who is less mobile and is unable to walk for very long in the heat. Or, if you’ve got two children, one of whom is feeling unwell and a newborn who has not had all her vaccinations.
Worse still, if you happen to live in one of the 150 HDB blocks in Singapore that still does not have a lift on every floor (and won’t, because they are ineligible for the Lift Upgrading Programme), going up and down the stairs can be exhausting for a sick child or aged parent.
For many such families, engaging a housecall medical service is so much more convenient and worth the extra costs. Instead of struggling to help their elderly dependents to the clinic or worry about young children catching germs from other sick patients, all they have to do is pick up their phone and book a consultation with a fully-licensed doctor.
Plus, with our in-app chat function, if you need to follow-up with your doctor, you will be able to send them a quick message so they can keep tabs on your recovery. No more wasted extra trips to the clinic!
There is no shortage of medical care options around HDB estates. With over 1,700 GP clinics and 20 polyclinics around the island, you’re bound to find at least one doctor within reasonable walking distance of you.
But, the most frustrating thing about going to a clinic tends to be the long waiting times. In fact, you can now expect to wait even longer at a polyclinic, which sees more patients because it offers subsidized healthcare for Singaporeans. I personally remember waiting for around 30 minutes just to see the doctor at my neighbourhood polyclinic and then close to an additional hour to settle the bill and collect my medicine! You might have better luck at a GP clinic, though waiting times still vary wildly, especially if they are on the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).
Housecall medical services are a huge time-saver! Instead of sitting on an uncomfortable bench waiting at a clinic, you can rest in your cosy bed. Or, if you’re not the one feeling unwell, then you can carry on with your errands or watch a show on Netflix while waiting for the doctor to arrive, which will usually be within the hour after confirming the appointment.
There are now more elderly people than ever before in Singapore and many elderly communities are found in HDB blocks. With fewer younger people to help support them, the government has stepped in to integrate more eldercare services in mature HDB estates, including grab bars in bathrooms and more wheelchair ramps. But, while the physical infrastructure might have improved, some elderly still struggle with basic activities such as eating and showering. How will they be able to make the trip to the doctor if they are unwell, or go to the hospital for an annual checkup?
Therefore, to help ease the burden on families with elderly dependents, we offer comprehensive medical care packages. For example, our Chronic Diseases Management package will help keep diabetes and/or hypertension under control with regular check-ups conducted in the comfort of your own home. This includes blood tests, as well as nurse and doctor visits, as recommended by the Ministry of Health.
All of these do not just help to save your elderly dependent a trip to the hospital or clinic, but also offers the doctor an opportunity to provide more personalised healthcare advice, taking into account the home environment and other lifestyle factors.
Most importantly, we believe that costs should not prevent anyone from receiving the highest quality of care. We provide subsidized services for home-bound elderly patients with chronic conditions or disabilities.
Are you interested to learn more about Speedoc and our housecall medical services? Since 2017, we have been providing on-demand healthcare for Singaporeans, including housecall doctors, nurses, and even private ambulances. We also offer comprehensive healthcare packages for children’s health (including vaccinations) and managing chronic diseases.
If you are interested in booking a consultation with our licensed medical care professionals, you can make an appointment by using our online system here, download our app on the App Store or Google Play Store, or contact our hotline at +65 8180 8948.