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Why is Health Screening Important for Everyone?

Health screening comprises the use of tests, physical examinations or other procedures for the early detection of disease in people who look or feel well.

Why is Health Screening Important for Everyone? 

What is health screening? 

Health screening  comprises the use of tests, physical examinations or other procedures for the early detection of disease in people who look or feel well.  

Who is health screening for? 

Health screening is important to everyone as it can detect disease early in people who do not show any signs and/or symptoms of illness or disease.  

What is the difference between health screening and the tests my doctors order when I am injured or unwell?  

As health screening is aimed at detect disease early in people who look or feel well, it is different from diagnostic tests which are done when someone is already showing signs and/or symptoms of a disease.  

Why is health screening important? Why should I go for health screening? 

Health screening helps you find out if you have any underlying disease or condition or if you are at a high risk – even if you feel healthy and do not exhibit any symptoms of disease. Early detection, followed by treatment and good control of the condition can result in better outcomes, and lowers the risk of serious complications. In some cases of high risk, adopting changes in one’s lifestyle may be enough to reduce the risk.  Hence, it is important to get yourself screened even if you feel well. 

What kind of health screening tests should I go for? 

The Screening Test Review Committee comprising representatives from the Academy of Medicine, Singapore and the Health Promotion Board classifies1 the various types of screening tests based on the following: 

Type 1  

Beneficial for everyone: These tests are listed in Table A.  

Type 2  

Beneficial for some but not others: Decision to be made on an 'individual' level, based on your individual risk factors e.g. self or family history of hereditary or chronic diseases, exposure to factors that can lead to disease e.g. smoking.  

Type 3  

Not recommended for screening: Currently, there is not enough information to support the use of these tests.  

1 Report of the Screening Test Review Committee. February 2011, Academy of Medicine, Singapore.  

It is best to speak to your family doctor who will advise you to go for the relevant screening tests based on your individual health profile. Find out more here.  


Where can I go for health screening?  

Health screening is available at many private medical clinics including the Parkway Shenton network of clinics island-wide. Click here to locate a clinic. 

Related Articles 

Which Health Screening is Right for You? 

Basic vs. Comprehensive Health Screening – What's the Difference? 

7 Common Chronic Diseases You Need To Get Screened For 

6 Common Health Screening Myths Debunked 

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Avoid Health Screening 


Table A – General Screening Tests (Beneficial for everyone)  

General Screening Tests for Adults  

Recommended for2

To screen for

Screening test

Screening frequency3

Individuals aged 18 yrs and above


Body Mass Index (BMI)
Waist circumference

Once a year

Individuals aged 18 yrs and above

(High blood pressure)

Blood pressure measurement

Once every two years or more frequently as advised by your doctor

Individuals aged 40 yrs and above

Diabetes mellitus

(High blood cholesterol)

Fasting blood glucose

Fasting lipids

Once every three years or more frequently as advised by your doctor

Individuals aged 50 yrs and above

Colorectal cancer

Faecal Immunochemical Test (to test for blood in stools)


Once a year

Colonoscopy Once every ten years


Additional Tests for Women




Women aged 25-69 yrs, who have had sexual intercourse

Cervical cancer

Pap test

Once every three years

HPV test Once every five years

Women aged 50-69 yrs

Breast cancer


Once every two years


General Screening Tests for Newborns   

Recommended for

To screen for

Screening test

Screening frequency

Newborns aged 0-4 weeks old

Hearing loss



Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency

Screen with umbilical cord blood


Inborn Errors of Metabolism (IEM)

Metabolic screen with

Tandem Mass Spectrometry (TMS)


Primary hypothyroidism

Thyroid Function Test (TFT)


Screening can start at an earlier age or be done more frequently if someone has risk factors for the disease.