Speech by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health, at the Topping Out Ceremony for Ren Ci Nursing Home at Bukit Batok, 3 Apr 2014

Ms Low Yen Ling, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Social and Family Development and Member of Parliament for Bukit Gombak

Mr Chua Thian Poh, Chairman, Ren Ci Hospital

Ren Ci’s Board of Directors
Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

Introduction

1.       早上好。今天可说是双喜临门。一来,我们庆祝仁慈成立二十周年。二来,我们庆祝仁慈武吉巴督疗养院的封顶仪式。这家疗养院将为武吉巴督的年长居民带来更多、更好的护老服务。我要感谢武吉巴督基层领袖和居民给予仁慈的支持和配合,把它融入你们的社区里。这是一家属于社区的疗养院。希望王我们可以合力它打造成一个充满欢乐、火力、爱心的温馨之家吧!

2.            Good morning. It gives me great pleasure to join you here at the topping out ceremony for Ren Ci’s new nursing home in Bukit Batok. Today, we are also celebrating Ren Ci’s 20 years of dedicated service in providing intermediate and long-term care to our community. Congratulations on reaching this significant milestone.

An Asset for Bukit Gombak

3.            Ren Ci Nursing Home at Bukit Batok is part of MOH’s plan to bring aged care services closer to residents in the community. We plan to build 10 new nursing homes and add some 3,000 new nursing home beds by 2016, to cater to seniors who need care services.

4.            I am confident that this new nursing home will be an asset for the community. When it opens in end this year, this new home will offer over 250 nursing home beds.

5.            In addition, to better serve the community, Ren Ci will also operate a Senior Care Centre at this new home. This is a day centre that will provide a “one stop shop” for a range of services, such as day care, day rehab and nursing services. So residents in Bukit Gombak and Bukit Batok who want to care for their loved ones at home, can be supported by this day centre, which can help take good care of your mum or dad in the day time, when you go out to work.

6.            I am heartened that even before the building is completed, Ren Ci has already made efforts to be a good neighbor in this community and has been engaging the residents. For example, Ren Ci has held talks on rehabilitation and caregiving for residents here. Ren Ci has also conducted health screenings in conjunction with the RCs here, and shared with the residents of Bukit Gombak on the prevention and management of chronic illnesses.

A Warm and Inclusive Community

7.            We have placed nursing homes in the community so that we can encourage visitation by family members and facilitate the involvement of the community in the homes. The love and support of the community will make a substantive difference to seniors recuperating in the home.

8.            I would like to thank Ms Low Yen Ling, Advisor to Bukit Gombak Grassroots Organizations, and grassroots leaders of Gombak, for their leadership in engaging the community which had played a big part in the design and planning of this nursing home. The suggestions provided by grassroots leaders and the residents helped us to design a modern facility that is lush with greenery. Public spaces have been provided both outdoor and indoor, that can be shared with the community for their use.  This is a way of involving the community in the home, so that the home will become an integral part of the community.

9.            I am heartened that this is working out well. I am told that students from Hillgrove Secondary School, one of Ren Ci’s new neighbours, have already started volunteering at Ren Ci’s Moulmein premises, befriending the seniors, as well as cleaning the wheelchairs of the residents. I am sure that this friendship will continue to flourish after the new home is completed and opened. 

Partnering Ren Ci

10.          I would also like to wish Ren Ci happy 20th anniversary, and commend you for your tremendous contributions to the development of aged care in Singapore, and for taking good care of our seniors with love and dedication all these years.

11.           As our society prepares ourselves for the rapidly ageing population, voluntary welfare organisations such as Ren Ci will continue to play a vital role in meeting the care needs of our elderly community.

12.          Ren Ci has come a long way from its beginnings operating a Chronic Sick Unit at the former Woodbridge hospital in 1994. Since then, Ren Ci has expanded its operations, and is now one of the few charities in Singapore that provides a comprehensive suite of step-down care facilities. Today, Ren Ci is an established provider of intermediate and long term care. Ren Ci provides community hospital, nursing home and day rehabilitation services, with about 530 beds and 60 day rehabilitation places .

Conclusion

13.          We look forward to the continued partnership with Ren Ci in serving the community, in the years ahead as we jointly build an age friendly environment so that our seniors can continue to live life to the fullest.

 

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