Saturday 21 November 2015

Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital undergoes $96 million transformation to become Singapore's largest nursing home; Redeveloped KWSH Official Opening by PM Lee Hsien Loong on 6 October 2018

Last of six buildings torn down to make way for 12-storey hub for elderly and community
By Janice Tai, The Straits Times, 20 Nov 2015

Construction of what will be Singapore's largest nursing home started last month in Serangoon Road.

The Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital will undergo a $96 million transformation to become an integrated hub for the elderly and the community in two years' time.

The last of the six buildings slated for demolition was torn down last week and a new 12-storey building, that will double the hospital's number of beds to 622, will be built.

This move is part of a national plan to raise the capacity of nursing homes in Singapore as the country copes with an ageing population.

Work on at least seven new nursing homes started this year and the plan is to raise the number of nursing home beds to 17,150 by 2020, up from about 10,000 now.

So, by 2017, the Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital community hub will house a bigger nursing home and senior care centre, as well as both traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western medical clinics. Home care and hospice services will also be offered.

The plan is to have a one-stop suite of services for seniors. For example, an elderly person who has been discharged from the nursing home can go to the TCM clinic for acupuncture or do rehabilitation exercises at the senior care centre.

Those in the neighbourhood who consult doctors there can also be referred for home care or respite care services. "This one-stop concept allows for better coordination and synergy in managing cases in the community. Services for the elderly will also be more accessible," said its CEO, Dr Ow Chee Chung.

"Instead of having the traditional nursing home which is gated, we want to open the space to the community to use," he added.

So, the public will be able to have their meals in its foodcourt, go for health screening or do some shopping at its retail spaces. This is because the hospital is bringing in community partners to offer their services on-site.

The nursing home will also have new features such as specialised dementia and neurology care wards.

Each ward will come with a "haze management zone", which has enclosed cubicles equipped with a ventilation system for the comfort of patients who may have breathing problems during the haze period.

Dementia patients will have a garden on the third storey to stimulate their senses, and a "memory street" on every floor designed after old places or times to help them reminisce and jog their memories.

Dr Ow said these features were deliberately planned to help patients feel at ease in a 12-storey facility.

He said: "Land is scarce in Singapore and, unlike in the old days when nursing homes tended to be single- or double-storey and the elderly could wander around outside, today nursing homes are being built higher and higher.

"We are concerned about patients' social well-being, so we try to maximise the space we have."

The hospital's existing three-storey building, which has served as its facade since 1960, will be conserved to house retail outlets, a foodcourt and private wards. The other three single-storey colonial buildings now surrounding a Chinese pavilion - built in 1958 - will also be kept for a heritage museum and other uses.

The hospital currently sits on a 26,000 sq m site. The remaining old buildings are gone and the 10,000 sq m land area they occupy will be returned to the Government.

The redevelopment project is undertaken jointly with the Ministry of Health and the Government will pay the bulk of the costs.

As the pace of ageing gathers momentum, we will need to fine-tune our healthcare system to make it more age-appropriate....
Posted by Ministry of Health on Friday, November 20, 2015

Nursing homes in the pipeline
The Straits Times, 20 Nov 2015

Work on at least seven new nursing homes began this year as part of a plan to ramp up the supply of such facilities across Singapore.

For instance, an 11-storey, 342-bed home in Chai Chee Street is expected to be built by the end of next year. It will be run by NTUC Health Co-operative. Another 236-bed facility in Geylang East Central, slated to be ready in 2017, will also be operated by NTUC.

Voluntary welfare organisation Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society will run a 290-bed home in Hougang. Construction will be completed next year.

Other areas lined up for new nursing homes include Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 and Choa Chu Kang North 6. The Ministry of Health will build the facilities, but some will be leased out later to healthcare operators to run.

The ministry said last year that it may also run three to four of its own nursing homes to better understand the issues faced by operators, and come up with solutions and innovations in eldercare which can be adopted by others.

While new ones are being built, some existing nursing homes, such as Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, are due for expansion. Ju Eng Home in Jalan Kayu, which now cares for 334 patients, will be expanded to a 584-bed facility by June next year.

* Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital nursing home opens after $96 million facelift
PM Lee hails Kwong Wai Shiu's efforts to help the needy throughout Singapore's development
By Hariz Baharudin, The Sunday Times, 7 Oct 2018

The Government alone cannot make Singapore prosper, as its people and community partners have a role to play in helping the country overcome its challenges.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reiterated this yesterday at the opening of the redeveloped 600-bed Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH) nursing home in Serangoon.

"As the Government does its part, we will also need community partners like KWSH, and more importantly, support from the people who will work hard and overcome challenges, like the Pioneer and Merdeka generations. Only then can Singapore prosper," said Mr Lee, who was speaking in Mandarin.

KWSH nursing home went through a $96 million redevelopment that it undertook with the Ministry of Health. Works started in 2014.

With the facelift, it is now the largest single-site nursing home in Singapore.

The new 12-storey facility has thematic day activity spaces and a refurbished traditional Chinese medicine centre. It also has a heritage gallery and a pavilion garden.

Its patients can now enjoy wards that are better ventilated.

The nursing home offers inpatient and outpatient services, day rehabilitation, day care, centre-based nursing services and a training centre.

The opening of the nursing home coincided with its 108th anniversary yesterday.

In his speech, Mr Lee commended KWSH's efforts and thanked its volunteers, staff and donors. He noted the hospital's long history of helping the needy, calling it one of Singapore's oldest charitable healthcare institutions that has continued to help those in need throughout the country's development.

At the event, Mr Lee planted a pink mempat tree, which symbolises the Chinese proverb of future generations reaping what the previous generation sows.

His father, the late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, planted a flame of the forest tree during his first visit to the hospital 55 years ago.

KWSH aims to have a new 128-bed long-term care facility by 2020. By then, the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics will open the new Kallang Polyclinic, which will be connected to the nursing home.

The hospital is also set to establish its presence in six locations by 2021, specifically areas within the central region of Singapore, such as Kallang, Jalan Besar, MacPherson, Whampoa and Potong Pasir.

This will be done through the construction of more nursing homes and community care centres in the coming years.

PM Lee pays tribute to Pioneer, Merdeka generations
By Hariz Baharudin, The Sunday Times, 7 Oct 2018

Both the Pioneer and Merdeka generations strove hard for the next generation's future by working together and going beyond their own interests.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged the contributions of these two generations in his speech at the Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH) nursing home yesterday.

Mr Lee paid tribute to the late Dr Leong Heng Keng, who was KWSH's honorary chairman and board director, and other Pioneer Generation Singaporeans by highlighting the hard work and sacrifices they made for others.

"Dr Leong and the Pioneer Generation did not just take care of their own interests, but they worked together and supported each other. Business leaders contributed to helping the needy, established hospitals, school and clan associations," said Mr Lee.

"Other pioneers gave of what they could to help others. The hard work and sacrifices made by the Pioneer Generation helped to build Singapore out of nothing, and made it possible for Singapore to succeed."

The launch of the Pioneer Generation Package four years ago was to thank this group of Singaporeans, he added.

Similarly, Mr Lee said the generation that came after the pioneers, those born in the 1950s, also went through tough times.

As Singapore struggled for independence and faced challenges such as workers' and racial riots and high unemployment, this Merdeka Generation shared a common goal to make newly independent Singapore flourish, he said.

This motivated the generation to forge ahead and work together to give Singapore the progress it has enjoyed.

The Merdeka Generation Package, which Mr Lee announced at this year's National Day Rally, recognises their contributions and is meant to help with their healthcare concerns in their later years.

Said Mr Lee: "The Pioneer and Merdeka generations did their part, they strived for a better future for the next generation. The Government's goal will always be to improve the lives of the people."

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