Mount Alvernia and APSN team up to provide medical and dental care for persons with special needs

Left to right: APSN Alumni Executive Caleb Goh, alumnus Germaine Teo and Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical Clinic staff Anita John.

In a partnership with Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN), Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical and Dental Clinics are providing highly subsidised medical and dental care for persons with Mild Intellectual Disability (MID).

In a joint statement, the Hospital and organisation says this is a monumental step in the special needs sector which will benefit individuals who have attended APSN’s special education Schools and Centre, supporting them into their adult years as alumni members of the Association. This group forms the majority of persons with mild intellectual disability in Singapore.

Currently, 40 financially-needy APSN alumni have received a one-year membership that will allow them to visit any of the Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical or Dental Clinics for primary healthcare services at very affordable rates – $5 for medical and $10 for dental, respectively – said the statement. These outreach clinics are located at Agape Village in Toa Payoh and Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru.

The Mount Alvernia Outreach Medical and Dental Clinics adopt a targeted approach to reach out to people who have fallen through the safety net and who are most in need and are at a disadvantage.

The clinic services include general practitioner consultation and management of common illnesses as well as providing dental care.

The initiative is part of Mount Alvernia Hospital’s community outreach programme to bring healthcare services to the less privileged and to serve the vulnerable and underserved who are limited by circumstances. APSN and Mount Alvernia Hospital have plans to expand this service to the entire APSN alumni population.

One beneficiary of Mount Alvernia Outreach Dental Clinic is Ms Germaine Teo, a 31-year-old waitress who only paid S10 for an X-Ray and tooth extraction that would have cost her $208.40.

Mr Caleb Goh, an Alumni Executive with APSN, shares that before providing this exclusive membership from Mount Alvernia Hospital, the Alumni Services team will do an assessment of each alumni and their families’ financial situation, prior to approving each application.

Other than these outreach clinics, Mount Alvernia Hospital also operates a mobile outreach clinic to bring the services closer to the beneficiaries.

Dr Christopher Tay, Chief Executive Officer of APSN, says, “A lot of the MID population cannot afford medical and dental costs at private clinics and, sometimes, the wait at polyclinics can be very long. The situation gets exacerbated when they lose their jobs. Mount Alvernia Hospital’s generosity and APSN’s passionate work in this partnership are really meeting a great need in this community.”

“The hospital is privileged to partner APSN for this meaningful initiative. We realised that not everyone has the means or recourse to take care of their basic health needs, even if they know their health status.  Alumni of APSN are an example. A number of them still require help to reintegrate and to be gainfully employed before they can become self-sufficient. We reach out to them by providing the alumni a familiar place where they know they can be cared for in terms of their medical and dental needs,” says Mr Goh Hock Soon, Director of Corporate Development, Mount Alvernia Hospital.

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