Parliament wants people to give their views on change of status for Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital

An artist's impression of the new 12-storey Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital in Serangoon Road.
An artist's impression of the new 12-storey Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital in Serangoon Road. PHOTO: KWONG WAI SHIU HOSPITAL

SINGAPORE - People with views on issues relating to the change of status of the Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital can write to Parliament from Thursday (Jan 12).

They can write to the Clerk of Parliament in Malay, Chinese, Tamil or English or email, and their representations have to be submitted by January 27, Parliament said in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 11).

Their views will be considered by a Select Committee that was set up on Tuesday (Jan 10) following a debate in Parliament of the proposed Kwong-Wai-Shiu Free Hospital (Transfer of Undertaking and Dissolution) Bill.

The main proposal of the Bill is to repeal the law governing the hospital so that it can expand its services.

The Kwong-Wai-Shiu Hospital Ordinance was enacted in 1910 when the hospital was set up. But it has since become outdated, said Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min in Parliament on Tuesday (Jan 10) when he put the Bill before the House for debate.

Its provisions impede the hospital's growth as a modern healthcare provider, he added.

Dr Lam assured Parliament that repealing the law will not affect the hospital's operations and patients are unlikely to experience any inconvenience or any adverse changes as a result of the transition.

Without the Ordinance, the hospital will be run as a company limited by guarantee and supervised by the Health Ministry as a charity .

In submitting their views, people need to give their full names, NRIC numbers,phone numbers and email or postal addresses, Parliament said in its statement. Otherwise, the Select Committee will not consider their submissions.

They also need to state whether they would be prepared to appear before the Select Committee to give oral evidence to support or supplement their written representations.

The evidence and documents given to the Committee are confidential. It is an offence for a person to publish them before the committee has presented its report to Parliament.

The Select Committee is headed by House Speaker Halimah Yacob. Its seven members are Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, Dr Lam, opposition MP Low Thia Khiang, who is leader of the Workers' Party, and MPs Chia Shi-Lu, Cheryl Chan and Christopher de Souza as well as Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong.