Views sought on Bill covering Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital

An artist's impression of the new 12-storey Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital in Serangoon Road. It will undergo a $96 million transformation to become an integrated hub for the elderly and the community by 2017 with a bigger nursing home and senior care centre as well as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western medical clinic. PHOTO: KWONG WAI SHIU HOSPITAL

People with views on issues relating to the change of status of the Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital can write to Parliament from today.

They can write to the Clerk of Parliament in Malay, Chinese, Tamil or English or e-mail, but have to submit representations by Jan 27, Parliament said yesterday.

A Select Committee on The Kwong-Wai-Shiu Free Hospital (Transfer of Undertaking and Dissolution) Bill will consider these views. It was set up after a debate on the Bill on Tuesday. The Bill's main proposal is to remove the Kwong-Wai-Shiu Hospital Ordinance so the hospital can expand.

The law was enacted in 1910 when the hospital was set up. But it has since become outdated, Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min told Parliament. He said its provisions impede the hospital's growth as a modern healthcare provider.

The Bill seeks to dissolve the existing hospital and provide for the transfer of its assets and liabilities to its successor company limited by guarantee named Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital.

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

Parliament said people giving representations should sign them, and give their names, NRIC numbers, phone numbers and e-mail or postal addresses. Otherwise, their submissions will not be considered by the Select Committee.

They also need to state if they would be prepared, if invited, to appear before the committee to give oral evidence to support or supplement their written representations.

Parliament said it is an offence for any person to publish any evidence given, or any documents presented to the committee, or extracts, 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; MPs Chia Shi-Lu, Cheryl Chan and Christopher de Souza; as well as Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong.

Toh Yong Chuan

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2017, with the headline Views sought on Bill covering Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital. Subscribe