Tzu-Chi Foundation to open dialysis centre in Buangkok by year-end
Kidney patients living in Buangkok will have a new community-based dialysis centre nearby run by charity Tzu-Chi Foundation from the fourth quarter of this year.
The new centre will have 16 dialysis stations with capacity for up to 96 patients every day.
Needy patients will receive government subsidies based on household means-testing, and can use coverage from MediSave and/or MediShield Life for treatment at the centre.
Patients who cannot afford to co-pay the balance of the treatment fee can apply for funding from the centre.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) will design a training programme covering infrastructure, operations and administration for staff of the new dialysis centre under a memorandum of understanding signed between it and the charity on Wednesday.
At a press conference announcing the tie-up with NKF, Mr Khoo Jyh Hao, the head of Tzu-Chi Foundation’s charity development department, said the organisation has provided $8.6 million worth of funding in the past 18 years to needy dialysis patients.
The dialysis centre wil be first one for Tzu-Chi Foundation (Singapore), the Singapore arm of the Taiwan-based Buddhist organisation.
It decided to set up the dialysis centre in Buangkok Crescent after seeing an increase in the number of kidney patients and a shortage of community-based dialysis centres in the north-eastern part of Singapore.
The NKF, which cares for the majority of kidney patients in Singapore, has one community-based dialysis centre in Punggol, which is running at nearly full capacity.
“The cost of setting up the centre, along with the hardware as well as the initial training and other types of software requirements, is projected to cost about $2.5 million,” said Mr Khoo.
NKF will train Tzu-Chi Foundation’s first batch of eight nurses, as well as non-clinical staff such as social workers, physiotherapists and support staff. The six-week programme starts in April.
NKF chief executive officer Tim Oei said: “We are extremely glad that Tzu Chi is joining us in this critical mission of providing life-saving dialysis treatment, especially as we strive to cope with more and more kidney failure patients turning to us for help.”
About six people are diagnosed with kidney failure every day, according to the Singapore Renal Registry Annual Report in 2021. That is a threefold increase from two decades ago.