Primary care is the bedrock of Singapore’s care transformation journey. For more than two decades, the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP) has been working hard to achieve a future-ready primary care ecosystem, one that is sustainable, accessible, and effective in improving population health. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated NHGP to operate in a new norm of care where innovation and technology are key to quality care for our patients while adhering closely to restrictions and safety measures.


Forward Medical Posts at Dormitories

NHGP set up and operated 14 Forward Medical Posts (FMP) in Purpose-Built-Dormitories (PBD) in Northern Singapore, caring for more than 50,000 migrant workers. The teams manning the medical posts comprised doctors and nurses. They provided triage services and clinical care, and conducted swab tests on migrant workers. Non-clinical staff supported the administration duties. These FMPs were handed over to private healthcare providers in September 2020.

Mass Swabbing Efforts

NHGP worked closely with NHG HQ to conduct mass swabbing operations. Two teams of NHGP dentists, care coordinators, nurses, AHPs, and administration staff took part in 100 mass swabbing missions for migrant workers. NHGP nurses also conducted Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) refresher briefing for non-clinical support staff, including SAF personnel, to ensure everyone was adequately equipped.

Swab Isolation Facilities

NHGP led operations at four Swab Isolation Facilities (SIFs), which offered patients who were waiting for the results of their swab tests a safe space to self-isolate. The teams manning the SIFs comprised medical, nursing, allied health professionals (AHPs), and operations staff from NHGP, NHG HQ and NHG Pharmacy, and they took care of close to 5,000 migrant workers.


Adapting to the new normal of delivering care, NHGP rolled out new/enhanced existing telehealth services in April 2020, including:

  • Tele-Consultations (with Doctors)
  • Tele-Consultations (with Care Managers)
  • Tele-Physiotherapy
  • Tele-Psychology
  • Tele-Direct Observed Therapy (DOT)
  • Tele-Dietetics


NHGP and the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) signed a Master Collaboration Agreement (MCA) to co-develop and deliver a six-week health and wellness coaching module for undergraduates. This partnership, the first of its kind between a primary care organisation and an academic institution in Singapore, aims to nurture a pipeline of local graduates equipped to conduct person-centred health and wellness coaching. By 2023, the course would be offered to a wider group including working professionals under SUSS’ Centre for Continuing and Professional Education.

“Many of our staff on the frontline worked tirelessly to contain the outbreak, be it at the polyclinics, or as part of teams deployed to provide medical support at the dormitories, Swab Isolation Facilities (SIFs), or mass swabbing missions. In knowingly putting themselves at risk to save lives and reduce the number of patients affected, they are our heroes. This strong team spirit and dedication demonstrated will definitely bring us a long way during this tough period.” Associate Professor Chong Phui-Nah, CEO, National Healthcare Group Polyclinics & Primary Care