The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has taken over the dialysis centre previously run by the Khoo Teck Puat Foundation (KTPF), leaving Singapore with two charitable dialysis operators.
A spokesman for the KTPF said the trustees felt it was better for the People's Dialysis Centre in Strathmore Avenue to be run by NKF, which has 49 years of experience and a large network of dialysis centres.
The centre, the only one run by the KTPF, did not have the support network that NKF does, she said, adding: "We are confident that the centre is now in the good hands of NKF given their vast experience of running community-based dialysis services."
As part of the deal, the foundation - set up in 1981 by the late Khoo Teck Puat, one of Singapore's richest men, with a seed fund of $20 million to support healthcare and educational causes - has donated $1 million to the NKF. It has also passed all key assets, including the dialysis machines and furniture, to the NKF, the first charitable dialysis operator in Singapore.
An NKF spokesman said it agreed to take over the running of the centre from the middle of last month after much consideration and board discussions.
The place has been renamed NKF Queenstown Dialysis Centre and will be expanded by next year, so it can take in 60 more patients, up from the maximum of 120 today. At the time of takeover last month, the centre had 84 patients.
NKF cares for 4,325 patients, the bulk of whom go to its 33 centres - including the newly acquired one - for haemodialysis, where the patient's blood is taken out, cleansed and put back in again.
The KTPF spokesman said it had been assured the care of the centre's patients would continue seamlessly, and NKF will maintain the patients' existing subsidies and dialysis fees until the next round of means-test review.
She added that all the centre's staff had been given severance packages, and many have since been employed by NKF or other healthcare centres. She said the foundation did its best to ensure that the transition was as smooth as possible.
The NKF spokesman said the centre's patients will also benefit from a host of allied health services such as nutrition and diet counselling, individualised exercise care plan and support from medical social workers.
The other charitable dialysis operator here is the Kidney Dialysis Foundation, which has three centres that can cater to 318 patients.