Speech by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health, at 2nd NUS-NUH International Nursing Conference & 18th Singapore-Malaysia Nursing Conference on 21 Nov 2013, Furama Riverfront Hotel

Ms Tselvin a/p Subramaniam, Deputy Director of Nursing, Ministry of Health, Malaysia

Ms Lee Leng Noey, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, Ministry of Health, Singapore

Associate Professor Karis Cheng, Acting Head Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, National University of Singapore

Professor Sally Chan and Adjunct Assoc Prof Lee Siu Yin
Co-Chairs, Conference Organising Committee

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

Good afternoon


1.          It gives me great pleasure to join you today at this 18th Singapore-Malaysia Nursing Conference and 2nd NUS-NUH International Nursing Conference.

2.          The theme of this year’s conference is “Positioning Nursing for the Future: Advancing Excellence in Integrated Care”. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines integrated care as bringing together inputs, delivery, management and organization of services related to diagnosis, treatment, care, rehabilitation and health promotion.

3.          Integrated care is important in the development of our healthcare services. For example, prolonged stay for elderly patients in hospitals, and frequent readmissions into hospitals for chronic conditions would be better managed by integrating hospital, primary care and intermediate and long-term care for such patients to reduce their hospital stays.

4.          Building integrated healthcare delivery capability is a key priority for Singapore’s Ministry of Health. This is evident in both the six Regional Health Systems that deliver healthcare services, and in the massive investment we have made in building sufficient capacity in hospitals and step-down care. Each Regional Health System has a network of public, private and Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWO) partners delivering care in the community.

5.          In integrated care, nurses are able to coordinate available healthcare resources for smooth transition of patients to the right healthcare providers. For example, Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) in Palliative Care review patients in hospitals, hospices and home settings. Nurses from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital visit patients in their homes and nurses from Tan Tock Seng Hospital follow-up on their patients in the community hospitals. As more intermediate and long term care facilities are built, we will require more and more of such nurses who are versatile and familiar with both institution and community, to ensure the seamless delivery of care to elderly patients.

6.          We will need to transform the way we prepare nurses for such multi-faceted roles. To this end, a National Nursing Taskforce is reviewing the post-registration diploma curricula to equip nurses with holistic competencies. Training will also include care coordination, case management, transitional care, leadership and IT usage. This is a move in the right direction. The nursing profession has made great strides over the years to up nursing skills and standards. As the profession continues to evolve and make significant and critical contributions, this will bode well for our present and future nurses.

7.          The 2nd NUS-NUH International Nursing Conference offers a timely and effective platform for sharing new experiences in integrated care.

8.          I congratulate the Conference Organizing Committee on their efforts to host this international nursing conference. Given the ageing and health issues many nations are grappling with, the timing of this conference is impeccable. In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you an enriching conference.

9.          Thank you


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