The National Kidney Foundation will build five new dialysis centres this year, thanks to donations from five sponsors amounting to S$10 million. (photo: Nurfarahhin, channelnewsasia.com)
The National Kidney Foundation will build five new dialysis centres this year, thanks to donations from five sponsors amounting to S$10 million.
SINGAPORE: The National Kidney Foundation will build five new dialysis centres this year, thanks to donations from five sponsors.
The donations amounted to S$10 million.
NKF Chairman Koh Poh Tiong announced this at a press conference before the organisation’s Charity Dinner at Resorts World Sentosa on Saturday evening.
Sponsors include The Singapore Buddhist Lodge and the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.
NKF says the donations are a sign of renewed public confidence in the Foundation.
NKF says it needs S$70 million a year to support all its patients, with the amount expected to rise with Singapore’s ageing population.
The new dialysis centres will be located in Yishun, Jurong West, Bendemeer, Bukit Panjang, as well as an undisclosed location in southern Singapore.
These will bring the total number of dialysis centres to 30.
The five new centres have a capacity of about 100 dialysis stations, and are expected to be ready by 2016.
Singapore ranks fifth in the world in terms of incidence of end-stage renal diseases.
The Foundation says it may also have to re-look its current business model, and perhaps build “mega dialysis centres” as more Singaporeans are expected to face kidney failure.
While NKF is grateful for the donations from sponsors, it is also trying to reach out to individual donors – an area which has seen a sharp drop in recent years.
NKF now has about 154,000 donors contributing each month, down from 280,000 before 2005.
NKF CEO Edmund Kwok said: “If you look at our budget this year, every dollar that people donate to us goes to direct patient care.
“Out of the $70 million that we need to run the Foundation this year, only $9 million is for administrative overheads. We’ve pared down whatever we need to, so that our administrative overheads are low.
“That $9m – we are more than able to cover it without recurring incomes, with government grants and all.”
NKF also faces another challenge – preparing for an unprecedented rise in kidney failure cases, due to an ageing population and one that faces a range of chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
It says four new cases are diagnosed every day, but this number could increase to about 20 over time.
Mr Koh said: “If the number of new dialysis patients is going to grow much bigger (than now), we may have to seriously look into our business model. In addition to the 30 (dialysis) centres all over Singapore, we may have to look into a few mega centres. We need to start this.
“I’ve already requested to, say, when you build a new hospital in the future, you give us space (for dialysis) because it’s so difficult to get space, because most of our spaces are in void decks.
“We have to sit down and think and plan. It’s my view that we can’t go on like this. We are so short of doctors. That’s why I’m reaching out to hospitals to help us.”
NKF is expected to play a role beyond just a dialysis operator, to include addressing the disease at an earlier stage.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said: “Besides providing affordable, sustainable and quality renal care for kidney failure patients, NKF also carries out public education and prevention programmes in the community.
“This includes the set up of the Education and Prevention Fund and the Kidney Discovery Centre to reach out to the general public as well as potential patients and their families.”
NKF says the $1.2 million raised from the Charity Dinner on Saturday will kick-start the Education and Prevention Fund.