First government-run nursing home opens in Chinatown

Pearl Hill's Care Home, the first government-run nursing home, was officially opened on Sept 28, 2016. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
The home focuses on rehabilitation with the aim to prepare seniors to become independent and eventually return home. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong speaking with a resident of Pearl's Hill Care Home on Sept 28, 2016. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Pearl Hill's Care Home is a 130-bed facility in Chinatown. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The first government-run nursing home is a 130-bed facility in the heart of Chinatown.

Pearl Hill's Care Home- a three-storey building- was officially opened on Wednesday (Sept 28) by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.

It is operated by Vanguard Healthcare, which was set up by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and MOH Holdings last year to run nursing homes.

Two years ago, MOH announced that it will operate some 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.

Then MOH said it intended to directly operate only about 1,000 beds by 2020, which will account for 6 per cent of the total.

Currently, there are more than 12,000 nursing home beds. The target is to have 17,000 beds in four years' time.

The second nursing home to be run by Vanguard Healthcare will be in Woodlands. It will be opened at the end of next year (2017), said Mr Gan.

"Vanguard will develop new models of care that are cost effective while striving to provide affordable quality care to patients," said Mr Gan.

"We will share our experiences and innovations with other providers in the eldercare sector to push the boundaries, so as to benefit the sector as a whole," he added.

For instance, the home is working with Ngee Ann Polytechnic to pilot new projects.

It is testing having sensors in the toilet to help to prevent falls by alerting caregivers when the patient attempts to stand up from the toilet seat unassisted. It is also trying out a space-saving solution for wheelchair storage by mechanically lifting wheelchairs to be kept on a two-tier rack.

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