New sports and care facilities for Fernvale

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong greeting a baby and her mother at the Kids and Babies Carnival in Sengkang South yesterday. The new facilities were planned after collecting feedback from residents.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong greeting a baby and her mother at the Kids and Babies Carnival in Sengkang South yesterday. The new facilities were planned after collecting feedback from residents.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Sports hub, eldercare services and childcare centre to be ready by end of next year

Residents of Fernvale can look forward to new eldercare, childcare and sports facilities by the end of next year, after plans for the neighbourhood in Sengkang South were unveiled yesterday at a family carnival attended by 2,500 residents.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was the guest of honour at the event, officiated the groundbreaking ceremony for a new $1.1 million sports hub, which will be located near Jalan Kayu Joint Temple in Sengkang West Avenue.

To be called Fernvale Square, it will house an indoor gym, two basketball courts, three badminton courts and a mini football field. The hub will be ready by September.

Also on the cards are a community care hub for seniors - slated to start running around September - and a childcare centre with a capacity of 300, due by the end of next year.

Mr Lee attended yesterday's event with fellow MPs from Ang Mo Kio GRC, the constituency to which Sengkang South belongs.

The community care hub at Block 447B, Jalan Kayu will be operated by non-profit healthcare provider Sata CommHealth.

Dr Kelvin Phua, chief operating officer of Sata CommHealth, said the centre will pilot a new model of care by integrating health and social services, with a focus on helping seniors, particularly those living in rental flats in the area.

Surveys and focus group discussions with more than 200 residents were conducted late last year to identify the needs of residents before the care hub was decided on.

"Other centres that we run are medical centres, which are more like mini-polyclinics. But this centre will focus on preventive care to help rental flat residents keep track of their health," said Dr Phua. Besides health screenings and vaccinations, it will also offer befriending services, community exercise programmes and home care services.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh, an Ang Mo Kio GRC MP who oversees Sengkang South, said the new facilities were planned after collecting feedback from residents in the estate.

"We have to plan ahead for childcare facilities, as there are a number of young families here, and also provide medical services to seniors on their doorstep, so that they don't have to travel to the hospital."

The eldercare hub builds on a slew of community-based healthcare initiatives announced by the Ministry of Health earlier this month, including housing developments that are twinned with care services, and an expansion in the number of community nurses.

By 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above, up from one in seven last year.

Retiree Chan Cheow Yong, 75, welcomed the new community care centre. "Getting to the nearest hospital takes at least half an hour, but I can get to this centre in just a few minutes for health screenings, to check if I have chronic diseases like diabetes."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 25, 2018, with the headline 'New sports and care facilities for Fernvale'. Print Edition | Subscribe