Bigger Assisi Hospice by 2014published by The Straits Times on November 8, 2011
By Janice Tai | Published in The Straits Times on 08 November 2011
THE Assisi Hospice in Thomson Road will be redeveloped to meet the increasing palliative care needs of Singapore.
The new hospice will be built on a 0.55ha site next to its current premises at Mount Alvernia Hospital. It will double its current inpatient, day care as well as home hospice care capacities, and should be ready not later than end-2014.
The hospice, which started as a home for the chronically ill in 1969, currently provides palliative care services to more than 1,000 patients a year, including those on home care and day care, and has a total of 36 beds.
Mr Ronny Tan, chairman of the hospice, said hospice care is fast becoming an urgent area of concern.
The hospice also intends to set aside space to train and educate caregivers and other health-care professionals.
“It is our dream to be a centre of excellence for palliative care research and training,” said Mr Tan.
A Catholic charity founded in 1969, Assisi was set up by the same nuns who started Mount Alvernia Hospital. The hospice receives subsidies from the Health Ministry, but before last night’s fund-raiser, it was still $1.4 million short of the $4 million it needs to meet its annual operating expenditure of $6 million.
In his speech, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong paid tribute to how the hospice has helped patients and their families. He noted how, during a recent visit, he was touched by the dedication of the care staff and volunteers in helping patients maximise their quality of life in the face of terminal illness.
“The environment of the hospice also facilitated patient privacy and respect for patients from various religious backgrounds,” he said.