One-stop cardiac centre at NUH
The Sunday Times - Sunday, 23 June 2002

`An average Singaporean has a 65-per-cent chance of getting cancer, stroke or heart disease. But with adequate fruit and vegetables, he can reduce these odds by 20 to
30 per cent.'
- Dr Lam, CEO of the Health Promotion Board

THE Cardiac Centre in the National University Hospital bills itself as a one-stop shop for various tests to check the condition of your heart.
The $8.6-million centre has been running since last year and was officially opened yesterday. It is part of The Heart Institute, a group of health-care institutions that includes Alexandra and Tan Tock Seng hospitals and the National Healthcare Group polyclinics. 

While the Cardiac Centre sees patients on a referral basis generally, it also accepts walk-ins. Payments for tests range from $25 for an  electrocardiogram to $495 for a nuclear imaging scan. Patients pay between $25 and $50 per test if they are subsidised. Associate Professor Lim Yean Teng, programme co-director of The Heart Institute, wants to extend the centre's services to helping patients look after themselves after they are discharged.

He told The Sunday Times: "Hospitals tend to treat for acute illnesses, but when patients are discharged, the patient care may not be followed through. "So, we're trying to build up the system to have follow-ups by doctors and case managers. When patients become educated and take charge of their illness, this will cut down on health-care utilisation." 

The centre has had some success in doing this. Mr Charaujit Singh, 60, a patient, said: "After my operation, they taught me how to change my lifestyle and overcome problems. I never used to bother about my diet. But now, I try to eat steamed food. It's not as tasty but it's good for the health."