Ren Ci Community Hospital



Ren Ci Community Hospital (RCCH) is one of the healthcare facilities under the voluntary welfare organisation, Ren Ci.1 The 15-storey hospital began operations in December 2008 and was officially declared opened on 11 January 2010.2 It provides rehabilitative and recuperative care for patients who require extended hospital stays.3

Background
RCCH was originally supposed to be a few refurbished blocks of hospital wards located within Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). Although slated to be opened in the second half of 2003, the RCCH hospital blocks were returned to TTSH during the 2003 outbreak of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to be converted into a wing for SARS patients. When this announcement was made, Ren Ci noted that it would make plans for a new hospital at another site after the SARS outbreak was over.4

The present RCCH is located on Irrawaddy Road, next to TTSH.5 It has a rehabilitation centre, a therapy garden, as well as training facilities for caregivers, employees and volunteers.6 The hospital is equipped with a total of 277 beds, 154 of which are designated for the chronically ill while the rest are standard hospital beds.7

Shaky beginnings

The establishment of RCCH took place amid the financial scandal that surfaced in late 2007 involving Ren Ci’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Venerable Shi Ming Yi, whose birth name is Goh Kah Heng. Ming was arrested and charged with a number of financial offences including fraud, forgery and falsifying the charity’s accounts.8 In November 2009, he was convicted and sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment.9 This incident caused Ren Ci to lose its Institution of Public Character (IPC) status and to suspend its annual fundraising charity show, which had been contributing to half of Ren Ci’s income.10 Further, during this period, donations plunged while operational costs of the charity organisation rose, particularly after the community hospital began operation in December 2008. At one point, Ren Ci considered dipping into its reserves of S$22 million to sustain its healthcare services.11

However, after the appointment of a new CEO and regaining its IPC status in August 2008, Ren Ci began to resume its fundraising activities, albeit on a smaller scale.12 On 24 January 2010, the charity held its annual fundraising charity show on television and raised more than S$7 million, surpassing the initial target of S$4 million.13 That month, the NTUC FairPrice Foundation also donated S$500,000 to the charity. In addition, donation boxes were placed at NTUC FairPrice supermarkets throughout Singapore during the first quarter of 2010 to aid Ren Ci’s fundraising efforts that year.14

Collaboration with TTSH
RCCH works closely with its neighbour, TTSH.15 In January 2009, the two hospitals signed an agreement to ease the process of patient transfer between them. This twinning of services, which was part of a larger government initiative, allows patients who require intermediate or long-term care in TTSH to be transferred to the community hospital after their conditions have stabilised, thus helping them to reduce their medical costs.16 To facilitate this arrangement, a bridge was opened in December 2009 to link the two hospitals.17

To ensure that the quality of the patients’ medical care would not be compromised as a result of the transfer, the patients’ medical records were shared between the two hospitals to standardise treatment goals for the patients.18 The twinning arrangement also allows RCCH to tap on the medical expertise, equipment and facilities of TTSH. This has enabled RCCH to expand its medical capabilities.19

Other partnerships and recent activities
In 2010, RCCH entered into a partnership with the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) and the SingHealth Group Procurement Office (SingHealth GPO) to participate in the Shared Procurement Services Pilot together with some other 30 voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) for the bulk purchase of medical supplies. The aim of the procurement project was to help VWOs including RCCH achieve higher levels of savings through consolidated purchases.20

In April 2013, RCCH established the Day Rehabilitation Centre, which serves as a one-stop rehabilitation centre for the elderly. These senior citizens can check in at the centre for a two-hour programme before returning home via the hospital’s in-house transport service. The centre aims to not only provide continual quality care for the elderly, but also to help them reintegrate into the community.21



Author

Hong Xinying



References
1. Prime Minister’s Office. (2010, January 11). Speech by Professor S Jayakumar, Senior Minister, at official opening of Ren Ci Community Hospital, 11 January 2010, 10:00 am at Ren Ci Community Hospital. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/; Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre. (2010). Annual report 2009/10, p. 9. Retrieved 2016, April 15 from Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre website: http://www.renci.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/AR2009-2010.pdf
2. Prime Minister’s Office. (2010, January 11). Speech by Professor S Jayakumar, Senior Minister, at official opening of Ren Ci Community Hospital, 11 January 2010, 10:00 am at Ren Ci Community Hospital. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/; Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre. (2010). Annual report 2009/10, p. 9. Retrieved 2016, April 15 from Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre website: http://www.renci.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/AR2009-2010.pdf
3. Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre. (2010). Annual report 2009/10, p. 7. Retrieved 2016, April 15 from Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre website: http://www.renci.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/AR2009-2010.pdf
4. To take load off TTSH, Ren Ci gives up 3 blocks. (2003, April 17). The Straits Times, p. 2; Tan, K. Y. (2003, April 22). Ren Ci’s new hope. Today, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre. (2010). Annual report 2009/10, p. 9. Retrieved 2016, April 15 from Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre website: http://www.renci.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/AR2009-2010.pdf
6. Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre. (2011). Annual report 2010/11, pp. 6–7. Retrieved 2016, April 15 from Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre website: http://www.renci.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/AR2010-2011.pdf
7. More bed classes in new Ren Ci hospital. (2006, October 5). The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Chen, H. (2007, November 8). Ren Ci faces inquiry into 'possible irregularities' . The Business Times, p. 9; Chong, C. K. (2008, July 15). Ren Ci case: Arrest comes after five-month probe. The Straits Times, p. 3; Chong, C. K. (2008, July 16). 10 charges against Ming Yi. The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Tan, T. (2009, December 29). Ren Ci revives charity show to boost funds. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Tan, T. (2008, January 19). Charity show put on hold as Ren Ci still under probe. The Straits Times, p. 51. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Tan, T. (2009, December 29). Ren Ci revives charity show to boost funds. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. New CEO for Ren Ci. (2008, August 7). Today, p. 3; Ren Ci gets back its IPC status. (2008, August 6). Today, p. 6; Ren Ci to resume active fund-raising. (2009, January 21). The Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG
13. Lim, J. (2010, January 25). $7 million raised at Ren Ci charity show. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14. Ang, Y. (2010, January 15). FairPrice foundation gives $500k to Ren CiThe Straits Times, p. 19. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre. (2010). Annual report 2009/10, p. 7. Retrieved 2016, April 15 from Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre website: http://www.renci.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/AR2009-2010.pdf
16. Wong, A. (2009, January 21). Charity comeback. Today, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17. Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre. (2010). Annual report 2009/10, p. 7. Retrieved 2016, April 15 from Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre website: http://www.renci.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/AR2009-2010.pdf
18. Salma Khalik. (2009, August 18). Hospital pairings work seamlessly. The Straits Times, p. 31. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
19. Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre. (2010). Annual report 2009/10, p. 16. Retrieved 2016, April 15 from Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre website: http://www.renci.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/AR2009-2010.pdf
20. Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre. (2011). Annual report 2010/11, p. 4. Retrieved 2016, April 15 from Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre website: http://www.renci.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/AR2010-2011.pdf
21. Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre. (2014). Annual report 2013/14, p. 23. Retrieved 2016, April 15 from Ren Ci Hospital & Medical Centre website: http://www.renci.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/Year-2013_14.compressed.pdf



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic. 

Subject
Public health
Law and government>>Health services
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Public Buildings
Public buildings
Voluntary hospitals--Singapore
Ren Ci Community Hospital--Singapore--History
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings
Politics and Government>>Health