Any reasonable increase in the number of physicians and nurses will not solve the problem with access to care. A new model of health care delivery is required.
Grand-Aides are one such model. A Grand-Aide is a lay-person who has been trained with a specified curriculum in medical care to be an extender for a nurse, nurse practitioner or physician. In the US, a Grand-Aide is a nursing assistant, while internationally, a Grand-Aide ideally fits into the current structure. A Grand-Aide is a respected member of the community. Many are grandparents, but for all, the characteristics of a “good grandparent” are required, such as wisdom, experience in caring for others, and ability to coach others.
To discuss the applicability of the Grand Aides program to the Singapore context, the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and the Chapter of Public Health & Occupational Physicians, Academy of Medicine, Singapore together with ACCESS Health International organised a Special Interest Group meeting on Ageing in conjunction with the 1st Singapore International Public Health Conference.The meeting led to a review of similar programs in Singapore, a discussion of the differences between existing programs and the Grand-Aides Program, and a discussion of whether existing programs can benefit from collaborations with the Grand-Aides Program.
The minutes of the meeting can be found here.