This is based on an ILC Singapore public seminar and a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders held in October 2019. The report finds that as Singapore’s health system is coming under increasing pressure as its population grows older, more must be done to overcome the challenges to vaccination uptake.
The report highlights that in Singapore, rates of chronic and age-related health conditions are rising which is leading to greater health service utilisation and costs. The potential impact of adult immunisation in Singapore is increased by the existence of several risk factors: year-round influenza, a large temporary population and high rates of pneumonia. Furthermore, despite recent government-led efforts to promote adult vaccination, vaccine uptake rates are low.
Singapore must overcome several challenges to better facilitate healthy ageing through adult vaccination, including:
- The mandatory national medical savings scheme, MediSave disadvantaging patients with chronic or multiple health conditions;
- Low public awareness of adult vaccination;
- An overreliance on doctors, and an underuse of allied health professionals to drive adult immunisation;
- Inadequate data to inform both policy and medical decisions on adult vaccination.
This report sets out a number of recommendations highlighting how Singapore can overcome these challenges by building upon its strengths:
- The Singaporean government should provide a funded wellness package that includes vaccinations and screening for older people living in care homes;
- The Singaporean government should consider financial incentives for patients;
Senior healthcare management should lead efforts to increase their staff’s knowledge and awareness of adult vaccination;
- The Ministry of Health should expand Healthhub to create a ‘one stop shop’ for patients’ adult vaccination history;
- Policymakers should consider whether the National Collaborative Prescribing Programme should be expanded to include adult vaccinations.
Financial support for the development of this briefing was provided as a charitable donation by Pfizer.
The report can be downloaded here.