SingHealth Polyclinics launches Primary Care Research Institute

It is the first local research and innovation platform enabling Primary Care Professionals from public and private healthcare to deliver stronger primary care and improve patients’ health outcomes

Launch of PCRI and MOU signing

  • The Primary Care Research Institute (PCRI) will enable Primary Care Professionals (PCPs) to conduct impactful research with the public and patients to improve health outcomes, create Healthier SG enablers for PCPs to deliver stronger primary care, and facilitate industry partnerships between public and private healthcare providers. 
  • In conjunction with the launch, SingHealth Polyclinics, AstraZeneca and GP+ Co-operative signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-create preventive health tools, upskill PCPs and explore innovative care models in primary Care settings.

Singapore, 29 August 2023 - SingHealth Polyclinics (SHP) launched the Primary Care Research Institute (PCRI) today, a platform for multidisciplinary primary care professionals (PCPs) to conduct impactful research in partnership with the public and patients to improve health outcomes and create Healthier SG enablers for clinicians from the public and private healthcare industry to deliver stronger primary care. The launch event was graced by Dr Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health & Ministry of Communications and Information.

Focus of the PCRI

As the academic arm of SHP, PCRI is a research and innovation platform for multidisciplinary PCPs, comprising doctors, nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals, to work together to identify areas where patients’ health literacy and self-efficacy can be enhanced to optimise their health and well-being.

The PCRI involves the active participation of the public and patients, where their voices and perspectives are valued, respected, and integrated into the research process, ensuring that the outcomes would benefit their health. The PCRI has formed an expert group of patients and caregivers who have undergone structured training conducted by SHP, and are consulted on a regular basis to gather direct feedback on research projects and studies to be conducted.

Equipping PCPs with tools and skillsets

The PCRI’s key focus in preventive health aligns with the Healthier SG strategy. By supporting the key enablers of healthcare IT and data infrastructure, training and development as well as financing policies, the PCRI aims to enhance the capabilities of both public and private PCPs, equipping them with the latest knowledge and skills in both medical and non-medical competencies, such as health economics and implementation sciences.

Research conducted by the PCRI will enable clinicians to better understand patient behaviours and motivations, so that they can guide patients in managing their health conditions better. The PCRI will enhance PCPs’ skills in research methodology, implementation science and health economics to enable them to understand, adapt and adopt best primary care practices and continue delivering evidence-based and cost-efficient care to their patients. This also enables the patients’ specific health needs to be addressed, promote the adoption of necessary self-care tools and enhance implementation in the community.

A model research study that exemplifies the objective of PCRI

An exemplary PCRI project is a study on new ways to conduct ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). Blood pressures are known to fluctuate at different settings and period of the day and night, which result in different risks of complications among the affected persons. ABPM provides more objective and continuous assessment of blood pressure control, which allows the patients to better appreciate their hypertension control and adhere to their medications and healthier lifestyles.

The study protocol was reviewed by a panel of research advocates who are patient-partners in PCRI and was revised accordingly, allowing the study to be more patient-centered. It also involves training of the doctors in interpreting the ABPM readings.

Enabling industry partnerships

As a facilitator of public-private partnerships, the PCRI creates a collaborative ecosystem, where stakeholders, such as general practitioners and industry partners can come together to support the Healthier SG initiative. SHP’s MOU with GP+ Co-operative and AstraZeneca signifies the tripartite partnership for knowledge exchange and sharing updates on emerging technologies and evidencebased clinical practices for PCPs. In addition, they will identify care models that enhance health outcomes and patient experiences, while adapting existing care models to be localised and implemented by Primary Care Networks (PCNs).

“In the pursuit of a Healthier Singapore, we are excited to stand united with our private and community partners at this official launch of PCRI to embark on the journey of discovery and innovation, and advance primary care to a new horizon of knowledge, compassion, and better health outcomes,” said Dr David Ng, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), SingHealth Polyclinics.

“The PCRI will garner evidence on effective ways to raise the self-efficacy in people to take control of their health, with guidance from their family doctors and primary care professionals. The research training programmes will upskill these primary care professionals, involve people and public in research to ensure that studies are scientifically robust, inclusive, focus on real life needs, and have palpable impact on people and their families that we serve in the community. It is a research institute for the people, by the people,” said Clinical Associate Professor (Dr) Tan Ngiap Chuan, Director of Research, SHP and Vice-chair, Research, SingHealth-Duke NUS Family Medicine Academic Clinical Programme (FM ACP).

“This launch signifies the establishment of our Network of Primary Care doctors dedicated to conducting research that covers all aspects of Primary Care and to advance knowledge, innovation, and understanding through systematic research efforts and translate that to real world practice to achieve win-win-win effect amongst all our stakeholders in healthcare, namely the public, the policy makers and the professionals,” said Dr Lee Yik Voon, Chairman, GP+ Co-operative Limited.

“The launch of the PCRI is a step forward for the Singapore healthcare ecosystem, and we are honoured to be partnering with SingHealth Polyclinics and GP+ Co-operative to improve patients’ lives and support the Healthier SG initiative. Through this partnership, we will continue to unlock innovation with our partners and to transform the delivery of care across chronic diseases including asthma and cancer,” said Kim Suyeon, Country President, AstraZeneca Singapore. “The partnership will also leverage our A.Catalyst Network to enable access to a wealth of technology solutions and expertise to PCRI research, to jointly develop solutions to alleviate patient and caregiver pain points and deliver enhanced health outcomes and patient experiences”, added Ms Kim.

                                                                          - END –

About SingHealth Polyclinics

SingHealth Polyclinics (SHP) comprises a network of nine polyclinics that provides primary healthcare services and plays an integral role in empowering patients, their families and communities to take charge of their health and wellness. SHP practises Family Medicine, providing seamless, patient-centred treatment and preventive healthcare that is affordable and accessible to all through its network of polyclinics.

SingHealth Polyclinics is a member of Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) – an Academic Medical Centre offering over 40 clinical specialties through a network of acute hospitals, national specialty centres, community hospitals and polyclinics.

For more information, please visit


This programme is supported by: GP+ Cooperative and AstraZeneca

About GP+ Cooperative

GP+ Co-operative Limited is a co-operative launched by a group of volunteer doctors in Singapore. Members form over 60 private medical clinics island-wide have joined GP+ to transform healthcare delivery and establish a network of healthcare professionals (e.g. GPs, specialists, allied health providers and paramedical personnel) to collaborate in providing quality healthcare services for the members of the public. Programs supported by GP+ cooperative range from non-profit public health education and screening campaigns, to training conferences to update medical professionals on the latest evidence and developments in healthcare. GP+ cooperative also supports a variety of digital initiatives through innovative partnerships, including health promotion with AskDr and improved care co-ordination with Healthlink Protocol.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

For media queries, please contact:

Ms Jessica Ng
Senior Executive, Corporate Communications
Email: [email protected]
DID: 6350 7553