SPEECH BY MR GAN KIM YONG, MINISTER FOR HEALTH, AT KWONG WAI SHIU HOSPITAL’S 103RD ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, KWONG WAI SHIU HOSPITAL ON 9 NOV 2013

Mr Patrick Lee, Chairman of Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital,

Dr Leong Heng Keng, Honorary Chairman and Advisor to Kwong Wai Shiu Board,

Distinguished Guests,

 

1.         Good morning. I am pleased to be part of Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital’s 103rd anniversary celebrations today. 

2.         Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital is a charitable hospital with a long history in Singapore. For the past 103 years, the hospital has made great contributions to our society, helping to take care of the health of needy patients from different race and religion.

3.         During the haze in the middle of this year, President Tony Tan and I visited patients in Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital. I saw for myself the dedication of the staff in ensuring that the patients are well taken care off.  Your spirit and compassion is  indeed commendable.

Challenges of our ageing population

4.         Over the years, we have built a robust healthcare system, but we still need to continuously improve to meet our people’s needs.

5.         Our ageing population will add stress to our health system. Our greatest challenge is providing our ageing population healthcare services which are robust and affordable.

6.         The government will achieve this by working on policies and facilities in three areas. Firstly, we will step up the construction of health and eldercare facilities. These include our hospitals, polyclinics and nursing homes. Secondly, we will continue to improve health and eldercare service standards. Thirdly, we will also enhance our 3Ms (Medisave, MediShield and Medifund) in a comprehensive manner, to help Singaporeans manage their healthcare costs better.

Expansion of Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital

7.         To manage the ageing needs of the population, government cannot work alone. We need to work together with community groups, especially those in step down and community care. The government needs to work with experienced community groups to expand services more effectively and provide care to our patients. Such community and volunteering spirit cannot be replaced by the government.

8.         Thus, the government supports Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital’s expansion plans and will be funding this project. Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital will have 600 beds, a significant increase from the current 350 beds and will become one of the biggest nursing homes in Singapore. It will be a one-stop centre for elderly, especially those staying in this area, with its new Senior Care Centre and Traditional Chinese Medicine services.

Conclusion

9.         I would like to thank Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital for taking the lead in expanding and enhancing ageing services, and actively contributing to our ageing population.

10.       KWSH is not only a prominent health institution, as a charitable hospital, it was built by the kind-hearted people in the community. I hope KWSH can continue to recruit many more volunteers for the nursing home, and spread the community spirit.

 

Thank you!

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