In 2007, a small group of enthusiastic medical students found a gap in the healthcare system that they believed they could help bridge. They pooled what little resources they had, garnered the support of their teachers, and introduced Singapore’s ﬁrst student-organised health screening.
Twelve years later, the Neighbourhood Health Service (NHS) has grown by leaps and bounds to become NUS Medicine's iconic community service project. It is the only student-led School project that has nationwide reach and scale – having partnered all three Regional Health Systems to serve more than 5,000 residents in nine different districts, from Taman Jurong to Eunos Crescent.
NHS remains an NUS Medicine student-led initiative, but we now welcome student volunteers from Singapore’s two other medical schools – the NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and Duke-NUS Medical School. We also increasingly play a key role in inter-professional education by engaging nursing, social work, physiotherapy and occupational therapy students from NUS Nursing, NUS Social Work, Nanyang Polytechnic and Singapore Institute of Technology.
While many things have changed since 2007, one thing has not – our core ethos of serving the underserved. We know from our research that lower-income residents living in HDB rental blocks are four times less likely than the average Singaporean to go for regular health checkups – hence our mission to reach out to them at their doorsteps.
No. of Rental Block Residents Screened (2008-2017) TOTAL: 5105
|No. of residents with previously undiagnosed chronic condition||No. of Undiagnosed out of Total|
|No. of undiagnosed elevated blood glucose (Capillary Blood Glucose ≥ 11.1mmol/L or Fasting Blood Glucose ≥ 6.1mmol/L)
(NOTE: excludes cases with elevated Capillary Blood Glucose but normal Fasting Blood Glucose)
|52 out of 100|
|No. of undiagnosed elevated Triglycerides/LDL Cholesterol (Triglycerides ≥ 2.3mmol/L or LDL Cholesterol ≥ 3.4mmol/L)||66 out of 91|
|No. of undiagnosed elevated blood pressure (systolic ≥ 140mmHg)||56 out of 147|
|Residents initially flagged for follow-up||Reconnected back to healthcare system||Still on follow-up
(phone call / house visit)
|Loss to follow-up*|
|TOTAL||218||115 (52.8%)||70 (32.1%)||33 (15.1%)|