SPEECH BY MR GAN KIM YONG, MINISTER FOR HEALTH, AT THE GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR YISHUN COMMUNITY HOSPITAL ON 23 AUGUST 2013,

Board Members of Alexandra Health,

Mr Liak Teng Lit, Group CEO, Alexandra Health,

Mrs Chew Kwee Tiang, CEO, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

Healthcare colleagues,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to join you today at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of Yishun Community Hospital.


2          This event marks another key milestone in the development of healthcare facilities for Singaporeans in the northern region.

 

Yishun Community Hospital and Alexandra Health Regional Health System

3          Yishun Community Hospital (YCH), when it is completed in 2015, will be operated by Alexandra Health and will add around 428 community hospital beds to our overall healthcare capacity.  It will offer inpatient services for rehabilitation, sub-acute dementia and palliative care, as well as provide outpatient services with its Geriatric evaluation and management clinics.

4          As part of our efforts to expand Intermediate and Long Term Care (or ILTC) capacity, YCH will play an important role in meeting the growing demand for community hospital services as our population ages.  Community hospitals are an integral part of our healthcare system, enabling the right-siting of acute hospital patients who require longer-term but less intensive care.  Designed to be a “modern tropical kampong” with a conducive healing environment, YCH will have two blocks linked seamlessly to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) to facilitate smooth transition from one hospital to another for patients requiring community hospital care.  

5          YCH will also be collaborating with community partners including nursing homes such as Villa Francis Home, Sunlove Home and Sree Narayana Mission to provide holistic care for patients, across the healthcare continuum seamlessly.

6.         This collaboration of YCH with the acute sector on the one hand, and the nursing homes on the other, is part of our strategy to establish a stronger regional health system for the population in the north.

7          Ultimately, a healthy population is what we are aiming for. I am happy to note that in addition to caring for patients requiring intermediate care, YCH will also have a focus on preventive care and disease management.  With outreach efforts to promote health and screening to the surrounding community, I am certain that YCH will be an important partner for Singaporeans, especially those living in the northern region. 

 

Geriatric Education and Research Institute (GERI)

8          YCH will also house the Geriatric Education and Research Institute (GERI) set up by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Our ageing population will increasingly be a key driver of healthcare demand, and GERI, as a national institute, will lead the development, coordination and implementation of initiatives to strengthen both geriatrics education and research, to help us better prepare for the challenges of our greying population.

9          In the area of geriatric education, GERI will facilitate the development of curriculum to train healthcare professionals to better understand the needs of elderly patients.  GERI will also focus on research to investigate issues such as age-related physiological and clinical changes and translate the findings to inform clinical care, treatment modalities, disease prevention, risk factors management and health promotion.  The research findings will help to inform our health policy and clinical services strategies to improve care provision for our elderly population.  GERI will also go beyond YCH and collaborate with other research agencies, geriatric departments, other community hospitals and primary care providers to conduct research in these areas.  

 

Conclusion

10        In closing, I congratulate Alexandra Health on the ground breaking of Yishun Community Hospital today, and I look forward to the completion of the hospital in 2015, to deliver more integrated, quality care to patients.

11        Thank you.

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