[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Sunday, July 15, 2007

[New NKF Centre at Blk 628 Hougang Ave 8]
1. This morning, I was invited by Mr Gerard Ee of NKF to do the brick-laying ceremony for the new kidney dialysis centre at Blk 628. It will be ready early next year and serve kidney patients living in the Hougang area. In fact, all the slots have already been booked. This will free up places in dialysis centres further away.





2. When the problems of NKF blew up two years ago, many Singaporeans were very upset. Some stopped supporting the NKF. It was fortunate that we had someone like Mr Gerard Ee who, when asked by the Health Minister, stepped forward to put things right. It was a trying period. Thanks to Gerard and many others, we now have a new NKF which is able to serve kidney patients better.

3. During the crisis, it was critical that NKF continued to look after the kidney patients. Without regular dialysis, they could not survive. I remember one evening talking to Mr Lee Bock Guan from the Singapore Buddhist Lodge. He said that it was important to continue supporting the NKF and offered to work with other religious organisations. I was skeptical at first and told him that raising money at that time for the NKF was difficult to explain to the public. But then I realized that he was right and suggested building a dialysis centre which everyone could see would directly benefit kidney patients. When I discussed this with Gerard Ee and Minister Khaw Boon Wan, they were immediately supportive. My colleague, Yeo Guat Kwang, quickly got a group going to spearhead the project with the NKF. Mr Tan Thiam Lye from the Taoist Federation agreed to head the fund raising committee. Other religious groups also signed on. The surrounding coffee shops chipped in as well. Many grassroots organisations helped in various ways. We still need to raise a bit more money and will appreciate any help that we can get.



4. Community support for kidney dialysis is very important. The patients and their families come under great stress, not just the financial burden but also the severe disruption to their daily lives because of the amount of time needed for dialysis, four hours each time, three times a week. The new CEO of the NKF mentioned that they are now thinking of 24-hour operations. Patients can sleep while being dialysed. I thought it was an interesting possibility which our new centre at Blk 628 might be a candidate for.

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG

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