SINGAPORE - The Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital will be run as a company and will have the freedom to modernise and expand its services.
This is after Parliament voted on Monday (April 3) to remove a century-old law governing the community hospital in Serangoon Road, which was impeding its development through restrictions such as red tape.
The Kwong-Wai-Shiu Free Hospital (Transfer of Undertaking and Dissolution) Bill was debated in Parliament in January, but was sent to a specially convened Select Committee for extra scrutiny. The committee was headed by House Speaker Halimah Yacob and had seven members: Health Minister Gan Kim Yong; Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min; opposition MP Low Thia Khiang, who is leader of the Workers' Party; MPs Chia Shi-Lu, Cheryl Chan and Christopher de Souza; as well as Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong.
A report by the committee was presented to MPs in February.
The committee received only one written representation after it sought the public's views on the Bill, and it was not directly related to the subject matter of the Bill. The hospital itself expressed support for the proposal, Dr Lam told the House before the Bill was put to a vote.
"The passing of the Bill will enable Kwong Wai Shiu to modernise its corporate structure, and place the hospital in a stronger position, with greater flexibility to provide quality healthcare services to Singaporeans while ensuring transparency and accountability," he said.
The hospital is being redeveloped into Singapore's largest nursing home, and its capacity will double in October after the redevelopment is over.