NKF hands over $24m fund to Children’s Society
The handover means the NKF can now “focus 100 per cent on renal care”, said its chairman Gerard Ee at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two charities at the NKF’s Kim Keat Road headquarters yesterday.
Mr Ee said the society has agreed to fulfil the ongoing commitments to the fund’s beneficiaries, which was one of the reasons the NKF had asked the society to take over.
“NKF is also very familiar with the society, which has a track record of over 50 years of serving children and youth in need. And we are assured of its level of governance, which is very important as we are handing over a substantial amount of money,” he said.
Since 2001, the fund has helped 145 youngsters – from infants to 19-year-olds – with subsidies for treatment and rehabilitative care for chronic illnesses.
About 33 of them require ongoing financial assistance, which the society will continue to disburse. And, of the $24.2 million, $4.2 million will be used to continue commitments already pledged by the fund until 2009.
These include the Centre for Hearing and Cochlear Implants at Singapore General Hospital, the Cleft and Craniofacial Centre as well as the pain and palliative care programme at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Minds Medicare Centre, and the Children’s Skin Clinic at the National Skin Centre.
The Singapore Children’s Society will invest the remaining $20 million and use the investment income to run future programmes, said its chairman Koh Choon Hui.
Based on an estimated 4 to 5 per cent return on the money, he reckons there will be about $800,000 to $1 million annually, “enough to cover recurring expenditure and take on deserving cases”.
Child patients from needy families can apply to the fund for help to pay medical expenses. On top of that, the society will use its own existing funds for their other financial and social needs, said Mr Koh.
Although the society will continue to raise funds for its existing services, which cost about $7 million a year and help some 12,000 children, it will not actively fund-raise for the Children’s Medical Fund over the next 10 years.
“Donations, though, are always welcome,” Mr Koh said.
A new committee, headed by Mr Alex Lee, chairman of the society’s social work service standing committee, will manage the fund and work with medical social workers in restructured hospitals to identify new needs.
The NKF, meanwhile, will give another update of its activities next month, promised Mr Ee.
Apart from increasing its patient load from 1,500 to 2,000, its new dialysis centre in Ang Mo Kio will be up and running by March next year and fund- raising will soon start for its 24th dialysis centre in Hougang.
“We want the neighbourhood to identify with and be involved in these centres, to know what goes on there, and make it their own, so over time they will want go to the dialysis centre in their neighbourhood to help out,” said Mr Ee.
THE RIGHT GROUP TO TAKE OVER
“NKF is…very familiar with the society, which has a track record of over 50 years of serving children and youth in need. And we are assured of its level of governance, which is very important as we are handing over a substantial amount of money.”
NKF CHAIRMAN GERARD EE, on the Singapore Children’s Society.