SINGAPORE: The Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital reopened on Saturday (Oct 6) after a major S$96 million revamp.
The redeveloped compound at Serangoon Road now houses more than 600 beds in better-ventilated and more comfortable wards, making it the largest single-site nursing home in Singapore.
Channel NewsAsia understands that more than 500 of the beds are already occupied.
Among the new additions is a 12-storey nursing home building with themed day activity spaces. The building also features a two-storey senior care centre, as well as a Terrace Garden specifically designed with dementia patients in mind.
Patients and visitors can also drop by a refurbished Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Centre or the new Heritage Gallery.
Training facilities have also been set up, including the recently inaugurated Community Training Institute.
Besides centre-based nursing services, the hospital also offers inpatient and outpatient services, rehabilitation and day care.
At the reopening, which coincided with the hospital's 108th anniversary, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted the hospital’s long history of helping the needy.
“Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital is one of our oldest charitable healthcare institutions.
"As Singapore developed and prospered, the lives of our people improved. However, there remained people who could not afford medical care when they became ill or suffered from chronic illness.
"Not only did Kwong Wai Shiu continue to look after its patients, you have become a sanctuary for this group, so that they can recuperate in peace,” he said.
Mr Lee added that community partners like Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital complement the medical and social service provided by the Government.
“As the Government does our part, we will also need community partners like Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, and more importantly, support from the people who will work hard and overcome challenges like the Pioneer and Merdeka generations," said Mr Lee.
“For Singapore to prosper, all of us have to work together, to be able to reap good rewards in the future, we have to start sowing the seeds now."
The Prime Minister also planted a Pink Mempat tree, symbolising a Chinese proverb that future generations will reap what the previous generation sows. The late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew planted a Flame of the Forest tree when he first visited the hospital 55 years ago.
Plans for further developments are underway.
By 2020, the hospital will have a 128-bed long-term care facility. The National Healthcare Group Polyclinics will concurrently open the new Kallang Polyclinic, which will be connected to the hospital.
The hospital is set to establish its presence at a total of six locations by 2021, specifically areas within the central region of Singapore such as Kallang, Jalan Besar, MacPherson, Whampoa and Potong Pasir.
Seniors living in the neighbouring estates can look forward to a holistic and comprehensive suite of care services for the elderly as Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital strives to be an integrated healthcare and community hub.
The hospital’s chairman Patrick Lee said: “We wish to thank the community, our donors and volunteers for their utmost support throughout the redevelopment project.
"We will continue to offer more quality services while continuing to keep our fees affordable for all and work with our partners to meet essential healthcare needs of our elderly.”