The Society for Community Organisation, or SoCo, on Saturday called on the government to set up a dedicated agency to manage primary health care. The NGO wants users, especially those on low incomes, to be more aware of what services are available and where to go for the first point of contact.
The call came after SoCo polled about 240 people on low incomes, between April and May, about public health services. Over 70 percent of respondents said they would first seek medical attention from the public health system but that they found waiting times to be too long and that it was often difficult to make an appointment.
SoCo said a dedicated agency would be able to steer patients in the right direction and make government resource allocation easier. It said the agency should include members of the medical profession, social services, and representatives from patient organisations.
Soco also called for longer consultation hours at general outpatient clinics, more consultation places, and subsidies or vouchers so more people could use private clinics.