SINGAPORE - Residents in Toa Payoh West requiring kidney dialysis will now be able to conveniently go for treatment closer to their homes.
The new Seck Hong Choon-National Kidney Foundation (NKF) dialysis centre, located on the third storey of Toa Payoh West Community Club (CC), was officially opened by Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Transport Chee Hong Tat on Sunday (March 28).
It is the first NKF dialysis centre to be located in a community club and is a collaboration between NKF, Toa Payoh West CC and Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, which donated $1.4 million to the project to cover renovation and equipment costs.
There are now 39 NKF dialysis centres islandwide, mostly located at Housing Board (HDB) void decks.
NKF chairman Arthur Lang said the new centre at Toa Payoh West, with 20 dialysis stations, can serve up to 120 patients.
Mr Lang said: "With our ageing population and increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, it is important that Singaporeans continue to have access to affordable and sustainable healthcare in the community."
Mr Azman Hamzah, 60, an NKF haemodialysis patient at the new Toa Payoh West dialysis centre, said that the location is very convenient, as it is a quick five-minute taxi ride from his home in Toa Payoh Lorong 5.
Before the new centre opened, he used to go for dialysis sessions at the NKF centre in Kim Keat.
The former crane operator who has been a patient with NKF since 2016 added: "It is easy to tell the (taxi) drivers where the centre is, since the CC is a prominent landmark. When I need to get personal care and first aid supplies, there is a medical supplies store located at the ground floor of the CC."
Mr Lang said NKF plans to engage the community by stepping up outreach and advocacy on kidney health.
For example, as residents are now going to the CC for their Covid-19 vaccinations, NKF will be setting up a booth to share with them the importance of a healthy lifestyle and taking good care of one's kidneys, he added.
Another community outreach initiative in the works at Toa Payoh West CC is a mobile coffee kiosk, to be manned by NKF patients, said Mr Lang.
The kiosk is meant to allow patients to showcase their skills as baristas and find some meaningful employment, as well as for them to act as NKF ambassadors in sharing their kidney failure and dialysis journey.
NKF is also partnering the Toa Payoh West-Thomson grassroot organisations to provide public education on prevention and management of kidney diseases, such as having NKF posters displayed on the digital panels of HDB flats located within Toa Payoh West, said Mr Lang.
Mr Chee, who is also an MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, said: "We want to help our residents stay healthy, go for health screening regularly and seek early treatment if they need medical intervention."