Journeying with the SingHealth family has been an inspiring and exciting experience.
While I have been part of the Board since 2013, my last one year since taking over the reins from Mr Peter Seah has proven to be an eye-opening one, filled with much promises for the future. Under Mr Seah’s outstanding leadership, SingHealth has grown from strength to strength over the last decade and it is my privilege to continue to chart the next lap of its transformative journey.
I am also very gratified to work alongside an outstanding and dedicated team of healthcare professionals in this big family. As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to pose challenges, I am humbled to witness the extraordinary demonstration of resilience, courage and selfless commitment of our staff, always putting the health and well-being of patients at the forefront. Many went above and beyond the call of duty to reinvent the way we deliver care and I salute all our staff for their unwavering sense of purpose and mission. On behalf of the members of the SingHealth Board, I convey our heartfelt appreciation for their tremendous contributions and sacrifices over the past year.
Advancing new heights in care delivery
In January 2022, we held the official opening of SingHealth Tower and Outram Community Hospital (OCH) which marked a key milestone under the Phase One redevelopment of the SGH Campus Masterplan.
Symbolically, this marks an important milestone in the synergising of our strengths to galvanise our resources in this journey of renewal. The SingHealth Tower comprises the administrative heart of the cluster and key central support functions for the entire SGH Campus while OCH is a key pillar in enabling us to provide integrated and seamless care across the acute and community care settings. Patients can transit into a rehabilitative care setting smoothly as they continue to make progress in their recovery. Together with the new National Cancer Centre Singapore and SGH Emergency Medicine buildings including an upgraded National Neuroscience Institute (NNI@SGH Campus) that are slated to be ready in the next few years, opportunities are abound for us to make a paradigm shift in the way we provide care by leveraging new and existing technologies and accelerating innovation in healthcare capabilities to enhance patient accessibility.
We want to focus on each patient, understand his or her health aspirations and recovery goals, and tailor our care towards achieving what matters to them.
Providing accessibility in good and tough times
OCH has been operational since late 2019 and boosted Singapore’s hospital bed capacity when COVID-19 cases surged. The COVID-19 pandemic did not dampen our plans to enhance accessibility to care; it strengthened our resolve to do so.
The SingHealth family’s latest addition – Eunos Polyclinic – opened in December 2021, bringing our network of polyclinics to nine. In addition to outpatient care and treatment for chronic and acute conditions, Eunos Polyclinic also provides access to radiological, women’s and children’s health, immunisations, diagnostics, dental services as well as allied health options like physiotherapy and podiatry. It is also specially designed to leverage the use of technology to enhance convenience and patient experience, enabling us to support our patients well for all their health needs.
The SingHealth’s Centre for Population Health Research and Implementation under the SingHealth Office of Regional Health will also continue to strengthen community care efforts through programmes and partnerships that focus on a preventive care model in line with the Ministry of Health’s ‘Healthier SG’ framework. By expanding our network of family doctors and building on outreach efforts to promote health and mitigate health risks, we hope to help the community stay healthy for as long as possible through early intervention strategies that will predict, postpone or prevent adverse health episodes....
Innovating to advance
Healthcare innovation is a critical enabler for our healthcare transformation journey. It undergirds all aspects of our work – from reimagining new models of care, reinventing care through impactful research to rethinking our processes and the way we work.
Innovation is the key that sharpens our craft and keeps us at the forefront of medicine.
The establishment of two new joint institutes - the SingHealth Duke-NUS Regenerative Medicine Institute of Singapore (REMEDIS) and the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Biodiversity Medicine (BD-MED) – is testament to this. These two Institutes will push the frontiers of medical research in these novel areas of medicine to benefit patients and our population in the future.
We are immensely proud to celebrate the clinical, research and education achievements of our people. Our staff have clinched several top accolades this year. Professor Tan Hak Koon from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) was named ‘National Outstanding Clinician Educator’ while Associate Professor Wong Kok Seng from SingHealth Community Hospitals was awarded the National Outstanding Clinician Mentor at the National Medical Excellence Awards 2021. A team from CGH comprising Clinical Associate Professors Steven Lim, and How Choon How, Assistant Professor Oh Hong Choon and Ms Priscilla Goh garnered the National Clinical Excellence Team Award.
Two of our nurses, Dr Huang Fang from KKH and Ms Christina Lim from Sengkang General Hospital, also received the President’s Award for Nurses 2021, the highest accolade in the nursing profession. My heartiest congratulations to all our very deserving award winners!
The Singapore General Hospital’s Department of Vascular and Interventional Radiology received accreditation under the International Accreditation System for Interventional Oncology services, making it the first hospital in Asia to achieve this gold standard for international oncology care in this rapidly growing field in cancer treatment.
These recognitions and accolades reflect the tireless commitment of our people to do the best we can to heal and comfort those who entrust their health to us. I am confident that in the year ahead, we will continue to raise the bar in the care we provide as we strengthen and grow in our diverse areas of expertise.
I am humbled by this opportunity to chart new directions and break new ground in transforming our healthcare landscape, always putting patients at the heart of all we do. I look forward to forging ahead with you in our journey to define tomorrow’s medicine.