Published 7 March 2011
By Neo Chai Chin
Jurong hospital gets s$125m gift and will be named after late property tycoon
Residents in the fast-growing Sengkang and Punggol areas will be served by a new hospital and an additional polyclinic.
Opening in 2020, the Sengkang hospital – which will likely have between 500 and 600 beds – will be the third new hospital to be up-and-running in a decade, following the opening of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital last year and the scheduled opening of the Jurong Hospital in 2014.
On Friday, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced substantial investments in the healthcare infrastructure, including a S$50-million upgrade of polyclinics at Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Geylang, Tampines and Yishun over the next five years. A new polyclinic will also be built in Punggol.
On the new hospital in Sengkang – which will have a community hospital adjoining it – Mr Khaw said he has tasked SingHealth to assemble a “young outstanding team” to take charge of the project and will “challenge them” to build a better hospital than Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and the one in Jurong, “measured from the patients’ point of view”.
The new hospital will be located beside Cheng Lim LRT Station and within walking distance of Sengkang MRT Station.
With this addition to the healthcare landscape, a hospital will be within 30 minutes of every patient, said Mr Khaw.
Mr Khaw added that eight polyclinics have already been upgraded in the past five years and, while waiting time remains a problem for walk-in cases without appointments, it is now “manageable” for those with appointments.
The upgraded polyclinics are now paperless and have multi-disciplinary teams. They are also piloting tele-ophthalmology for patients with eye disease, helping to cut unnecessary referrals to a hospital ophthalmologist, said Mr Khaw.
The Health Minister also revealed that the 700-bed Jurong general hospital will be renamed the Ng Teng Fong Hospital, after the family of the late property mogul and founding chairman of Far East Organization donated S$125 million to the institution.
In a statement on Friday, the late tycoon’s son, Mr Philip Ng, who is also the company’s chief executive, said: “This gift serves to give back to the Singapore community as well as to leave a lasting memory of him … We’re certain that this development will bring quality healthcare closer to the community and help develop medical capabilities for future generations.”
The donation will be used to set up the JurongHealth Fund for needy patients and for research, staff education and facility enhancements, said JurongHealth chief executive Foo Hee Jug.