Speech by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State (Health), at Bright Vision Hospital Heritage Carnival, Hougang Central Hub, 26 Apr 2014

Professor Ang Chong Lye, Board Director of Bright Vision Hospital

Mr Chua Puay Hian, CEO of Bright Vision Hospital

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Tribute to Our Seniors

1.            Good afternoon. I am pleased to join you at Bright Vision Hospital’s (BVH) inaugural Heritage Carnival. It is encouraging to see the community coming together to celebrate the contributions of our seniors, to reminisce life in Singapore from the early days of the 1960s to the 1980s, and to raise funds for our needy patients. This carnival is also a good platform for our younger generation to mingle with our seniors and learn from them the challenges and struggles we had in the early days of our nationhood.

2.            The seniors in Singapore have indeed contributed much to build the Singapore we have today. In their silver years, we want to make sure that they can be well supported to age actively, happily and also gracefully in place.

3.            The Ministry of Health has therefore put in place plans and policies to increase capacity, enhance quality and improve affordability of intermediate and long term care services. We are building more community hospitals, nursing homes and expanding home care services. We have also developed new care standards for aged care services and enhanced government subsidies to improve the affordability of intermediate and long term care.

4.            The Pioneer Generation Package (PGP), which was unveiled during Budget this year, is yet another way to recognise our seniors for their important contributions. The package provides our seniors from the pioneer generation greater peace of mind in the area of healthcare costs as they enter into their golden years. These seniors will see substantial Medishield Life premium subsidies, more subsidies for their outpatient care, and annual Medisave top-ups for life. PG seniors with moderate to severe functional disabilities will be able to receive additional cash support through the Disability Assistance Scheme (DAS).

Bright Vision Hospital – A Sanctuary of Medical Care

5.            I am happy that in our efforts to build up intermediate and long term care services in Singapore, we have good partners like Bright Vision Hospital.

6.            BVH has been serving the community since 2002, offering a fully integrated healthcare programme that serves the patients’ physical, psychological and social needs. With clinical leadership and close support from Singapore General Hospital’s (SGH) over the last 3 years, BVH has built a strong medical team of community hospital professionals with a focus on providing continuing care for patients discharged from an acute setting. Catering to about 1,200 new patients a year, BVH provides a comprehensive range of medical services such as sub-acute and rehabilitative care. Important continuing care services such as nursing home, palliative and chronic sick care are also provided by BVH for the needy, sick, and the elderly. In addition, BVH serves as a training and education ground for professionals and the public in the area of quality community care for the elderly and infirmed.

Heritage Carnival

7.            I would also like to commend BVH for its efforts in outreaching to the community, such as through the carnival today. The carnival theme this year – “Treasure”, or “传家宝’ (chuán jiā bǎo), is very appropriate for our seniors as it is indeed important to cherish these members of our family, community, and country. In particular, the Heritage Carnival today features vintage exhibits of the past and art exhibits on paintings of landscapes and heritage buildings. It offers us a platform to reflect on the values and qualities of hard work and resilience of our seniors, and the sacrifices they have made to develop Singapore into what it is today.

8.            I met many seniors from all walks of life and from their sharing and stories; they are indeed icons of active and successful ageing. Similarly, it is indeed heart-warming to see families and members of the community gathered here today to celebrate and recognise the contributions of our seniors to Singapore.

Conclusion

9.            On this note, I would like to express thanks to BVH and its volunteers for their tireless efforts in serving the needs and welfare of patients and their families, and for putting together this Heritage Carnival as a celebration for our seniors. I wish you all an enjoyable afternoon ahead.

10.         Thank you.

 

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