The Straits Times

Community care providers receive over $5 million in donations: AIC

07 Sep 2020

SINGAPORE - Those looking after the vulnerable, especially the elderly, received a boost amid the coronavirus pandemic with over $5 million in donations, including more than $2 million in cash.

The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) said the donations will help arm the community care sector in its fight against Covid-19.

In a statement on Monday (Sept 7), the agency said community care providers have been stepping up infection control and precautionary measures, and implementing new ways to deliver care more safely.

But these efforts cost money.

"The support from the sponsors serves to not only enhance our partners' ongoing efforts, but is also a boost to our morale knowing that the larger community is with us in this fight," said AIC chief executive Tan Kwang Cheak.

The donations will go towards supporting community care providers, such as nursing homes and organisations like Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital, in three ways.

Community care providers can tap the resources to digitalise for service continuity; show appreciation for their healthcare staff; and to offset the costs of taking precautionary measures to clean their premises.

AIC said the donations were from more than 20 organisations and individuals, including Temasek Foundation, Singapore Pools and Business China, a non-profit organisation that seeks to strengthen ties between Singapore and China.

Ms Tin Pei Ling, Business China's CEO, said the non-governmental organisation had rallied its network of prominent Chinese business leaders "to show their solidarity with Singapore by contributing to AIC's effort in supporting our eldercare sector".

"Our seniors are the most vulnerable in this pandemic and we must do our best to protect them," added Ms Tin, who is MP for MacPherson.

Singapore Pools CEO Lam Chee Weng said the donations are to uplift the vulnerable communities in the fight against the global health crisis.

Chairman of Temasek Foundation Cares Richard Magnus said the Covid-19 pandemic has affected all segments of Singapore society, "with the vulnerable groups being most at risk".

"In addition to hand sanitisers and medical equipment like oximeters and thermal scanners to community hospitals and eldercare providers, Temasek Foundation also provided additional support by providing beds and bedding sets to nursing homes," added Mr Magnus.

One of the beneficiaries is All Saints Home, a nursing home in Hougang.

After a healthcare assistant there tested positive for Covid-19, the home engaged a professional cleaning company to disinfect its premises multiple times as a precautionary measure.

Funds received by AIC went towards helping the home defray these costs. The home also boosted the morale of its care staff by giving them care packages, including vitamins and hand sanitisers.

AIC's Mr Tan said: "We would like to encourage like-minded individuals and corporates to come onboard and join their peers in supporting the community care providers' ongoing efforts to provide better and safer care for seniors."