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30 Oct 2019

30th Oct 2019

Mr Robert Chew, Chairman, Dover Park Hospice
Mr Timothy Liu, Chief Executive Officer, Dover Park Hospice
Dr Ong Wah Ying, Medical Director, Dover Park Hospice
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

1.      A very good morning to everyone. It is my pleasure to be here with you today to celebrate this significant milestone for Dover Park Hospice (DPH) in enhancing palliative care in the community.

2.      With Singapore’s rapidly ageing population, and with the increase in conversations and awareness about end-of-life issues, we anticipate that more Singaporeans will understand the value of palliative care. We need hospices such as DPH to provide good quality, patient-centric care for Singaporeans in their last days.

3.      It is heartening to see how DPH is continually expanding its capabilities and range of services in line with the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s efforts to grow community-based and client-centric care. As Singapore’s first purpose-built inpatient hospice, DPH has done well in serving the diverse care needs of patients with terminal illnesses since 1992. The addition of this new Day Care service will complement the existing inpatient and home care services, to meet the needs of the patients at different trajectories of their illnesses and ensure continuity of care. This Day Care will start with 10 places, bringing the total number of day hospice places across the island to more than 110.

National Initiatives Supporting Palliative Care 

4.      Since 2011, Singapore has significantly expanded palliative care services, especially in home and day hospice care, in line with most Singaporeans’ preference to spend their final days at home with their loved ones. We have also enhanced the affordability of palliative care services through increased subsidies and MediSave withdrawal limits for inpatient hospice and home palliative care.

5.      One particular focus in recent years is how we can support caregivers to seniors better, including those who are tending to their loved ones receiving palliative care.

6.      Caring for a loved one at their end-of-life can be physically, emotionally and mentally stressful. To provide better support to this group of caregivers, MOH announced various caregiver support initiatives as part of the Caregiver Support Action Plan earlier this year. As part of the Action Plan, we have also started the new home-based respite care pilot on 1 September. Caregivers of cancer patients on home palliative care, including DPH clients, can now tap on this pilot to provide short-term custodial care services to their loved ones for respite.

Dover Park Day Care

7.      I am very glad to know that DPH’s care philosophy also includes supporting caregivers and family members in their caregiving journey. The new day care service provides caregivers with reassurance that their loved ones are being well cared for and engaged throughout the day. Caregivers can then have the opportunity to have a few hours of respite to rest or to run errands. Some of the practices they have introduced at The Day Care also provides opportunities for bonding by encouraging caregivers to join in the activities with their loved ones. The Day Care’s palliative team actively supports caregivers, providing emotional support and emphasising the importance of self-care to help them cope with their caregiving duties.

8.      This is evident in the case of Mr Taye, a 78-year old patient who has been attending Dover Park Day Care for over four months. Before he joined the Day Care, his wife who is his main caregiver, was feeling overwhelmed taking care of him at home. Her focus was in tending to her husband’s needs and as a result, she did not have time for herself. Now that Mr Taye attends the Day Care four times a week, Mrs Taye can have some time to herself. Mr Taye is also able to pursue his new-found interest in art with the different art and craft activities at the Day Care. In fact, some of Mr Taye’s art work is on display here today. When Mrs Taye comes to the Day Care, she can choose to join in the activities together with her husband.

9.      Besides art and craft activities, the Day Care also includes social activities such as karaoke, mahjong, and board games, which are customised based on the individual needs and care plans of the patients. In addition, patients are empowered to choose the activities they wish to take part in, based on their interests. Some patients, like Mr Taye, have even discovered new hobbies that have helped them adopt a more positive outlook on life.

10.     Another unique feature of Dover Park Day Care is its range of therapy-led activities, such as art and music therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, to enable their patients to live life with a sense of normalcy and purpose.


11.     On this note, I would like to congratulate Dover Park Hospice on the opening of its Day Care. The Day Care’s focus is in line with our ongoing efforts to enable individuals to spend their last days in a familiar environment. It is also a key addition to the community care landscape, by providing multi-disciplinary care to patients, and providing much needed support to caregivers. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the efforts of the staff and volunteers for their collaborative and continued efforts in providing the best care to your patients and caregivers, ensuring they are not alone in their journey. I look forward to the continued good work and contribution of Dover Park Hospice to the palliative care sector in Singapore.

12.     Thank you.

Category: Speeches Highlights