MOH to ensure smooth services for NKF patients

Renal failure patients at the Thong Teck Sian Tong Lian Sin Sia National Kidney Foundation dialysis centre in Woodlands.
Renal failure patients at the Thong Teck Sian Tong Lian Sin Sia National Kidney Foundation dialysis centre in Woodlands. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

While the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) searches for a new chief executive officer, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will give whatever support necessary to ensure its patients get the services required.

Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat, in the first public remarks by an office-holder on the NKF episode, yesterday said the medical charity - one of Singapore's biggest - is making sure it can stabilise its operations and that services to its some 4,000 patients are not affected.

Last Monday, NKF sacked Mr Edmund Kwok after he was found to have committed a "reportable offence" against a male colleague. A police report was lodged by the charity.

The NKF chairman and two board members are now running the show. Its past CEO Eunice Tay will return next month to take the helm while the search for a new boss gets under way. Healthcare and human resources experts have said it could take months, given the relative complexity of the role.

Till then, the ministry "will work closely with NKF to ensure that the services for patients, the operations will continue", said Mr Chee.

He added: "I think we are happy to know that our donors, the public, have expressed confidence that NKF will continue their operations to serve their patients well."

He also said MOH will provide whatever assistance is needed to the board of directors.

Mr Chee was speaking on the sidelines of a community initiative he launched in Toa Payoh to help its residents better monitor diabetes.

Those with pre-onset and early- stage diabetes can now turn to six community health posts located in areas such as Jalan Dusun and Braddell Hill to better manage their health through regular follow-ups and advice on lifestyle changes.

At these kiosks, health coaches will help residents monitor their blood pressure and set goals for their diet and exercise. The residents will also get fitness trackers to monitor their level of physical activity. If successful, the programme could be expanded nationwide, said Mr Chee.

Madam Seow Cheow Hua, 86, a Toa Payoh resident who has high cholesterol, said she will be keen to visit a kiosk to get diet tips.

"Having it near my home is really convenient," added the retiree.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 20, 2016, with the headline 'MOH to ensure smooth services for NKF patients'. Print Edition | Subscribe