All About CDMP: Singapore's Programme for Managing Chronic Diseases

Healthcare systems around the world are facing significant challenges. As our world becomes more heavily urbanised, the prevalence of chronic diseases increases, too. Singapore is no exception, given that one in four Singaporeans aged 40 years up is affected with at least one chronic disease. In response to this growing dilemma, the government initiated the Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP) in 2006.

How Crucial Chronic Diseases Are?

Chronic diseases are long-term medical conditions that persist for at least three months and often result from:

  • Genetic

  • Physiological

  • Environmental

  • Lifestyle factors

Specifically, these risk factors include unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake. Typical examples include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic kidney disease. These require ongoing medical management to preserve their quality of life, perform tasks of daily living, and prevent sudden health deterioration.

Singapore's Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP)

The Chronic Disease Management Programme is an initiative by Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) to provide better care for individuals with chronic diseases. The programme includes providing integrated and holistic patient care through a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals. This team usually consists of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, and other allied health professionals who work together to help patients manage their conditions.

The Chronic Disease Management Programme covers 23 chronic conditions, including:

  1. Diabetes Mellitus/Pre-diabetes

  2. Hypertension

  3. Hyperlipidemia (Lipid Disorders)

  4. Stroke

  5. Asthma

  6. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

  7. Schizophrenia

  8. Major Depression

  9. Bipolar Disorder

  10. Dementia

  11. Osteoarthritis

  12. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

  13. Anxiety

  14. Parkinson's Disease

  15. Chronic Kidney Disease (Nephrosis/Nephritis)

  16. Epilepsy

  17. Osteoporosis

  18. Psoriasis

  19. Rheumatoid Arthritis

  20. Ischaemic Heart Disease

  21. Allergic Rhinitis

  22. Gout

  23. Chronic Hepatitis B

How Can I Sign Up for CDMP in Singapore?

To enrol in the Chronic Disease Management Programme, you must first consult your primary care doctor, who will assess your eligibility based on your medical history and the severity of your condition. If you meet the eligibility criteria, your doctor will refer you to a healthcare institution that offers the programme. Upon receiving the referral, the institution will contact you to arrange an appointment for an initial assessment.

MediSave in CDMP

Starting from January 1, 2021, individuals with complicated persistent medical issues will be allowed a maximum of $700 per patient yearly for their treatments. Other patients, however, can use up to $500 per person each year. Despite reducing out-of-pocket payments for outpatient bills, every MediSave claim will entail a 15% co-payment in cash.

Central Provident Fund (CPF)

You can monitor the MediSave funds you've used for the programme by checking a separate account summary in your Central Provident Fund (CPF) statement. To do this, simply visit the CPF website and log in with your SingPass. If you need assistance or prefer not to check online, your clinic can help you look at your MediSave balances.

Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)

For patients with chronic conditions who are part of the CDMP, you may be eligible for extra financial help through the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS). This government initiative aims to provide accessible and affordable healthcare for Singaporeans.

Having a CHAS card makes you eligible for government aid of up to $500 annually. However, if you possess a Pioneer Generation or Merdeka Generation card, you can receive special subsidies of $540 per patient yearly. These government subsidies make living with complex, chronic conditions more economical.

Why Is It Very Important to Avail CDMP?

Chronic disease patients often require long-term medical treatment, relevant investigations such as radiological procedures, and continuous monitoring. Managing these medical conditions well can prevent complications and maintain the best possible quality of life. The CDMP offers a comprehensive, integrated approach to support individuals with identified chronic conditions. Because of the chronic disease management programme, more people benefit from allied health services such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, and podiatry services. In addition, individuals are allowed to use MediSave at participating clinics, making treatment more accessible and affordable for patients in Singapore.

Through the CDMP, patients receive personalised care from a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals. They are well-equipped to address the unique needs of individuals with identified conditions, including several mental illnesses, chronic physical illnesses, lipid disorders, and even allergic rhinitis. This collaborative approach ensures that patients receive the best possible care in an outpatient setting, reducing the need for hospitalisation and improving overall health outcomes.

Moreover, the combination of CDMP, CHAS, and MediSave provides financial schemes for the elderly in Singapore, making it easier for them to access essential healthcare services and manage their chronic conditions effectively. Thanks to the government notice on CDMP, the annual withdrawal limit has been modified, now catering to a per-patient basis. When they seek medical treatment, patients are allowed to enjoy a better quality of life. Not only does this reduce the risk of complications, but it also contributes to the national effort to combat the significant causes of morbidity and mortality in Singapore.

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