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Dr Tang Kong Choong, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

Dr Tjan Soon Yin and Mr Jasfer Chwa, Co-Chairs of the Singapore Patient Caregiver Award 2022 

Distinguished Guests

Patients, Caregivers, Community Partners, Volunteers and Healthcare Colleagues

        Good afternoon. I am really delighted and happy to be here at the Singapore Patient Action Awards Ceremony. As you have heard, I have been judging this award for the last four years. I am happy that I finally get to see everyone in person. Today we celebrate the 15 individuals and teams who are awarded this year’s Singapore Patient Action Awards, all of whom have shown exceptional strength, courage and resilience in supporting their family members and the community. 

Being Resilient and Innovative in the Face of COVID-19

2.    The past few years have been very challenging for everyone. At the height of the pandemic, we all had to adapt to new rules that had to be put in place to control the pandemic. These made the work of caregivers and volunteers a lot more challenging. 

3.     Yet COVID-19 has made us more resilient and encouraged us to be innovative in the way we rally community resources and connect with one another. More importantly, it has created opportunities for ground-up initiatives and brought communities together to care for those in need.

Inspiring SPAA 2022 Award Recipients

4.     The Singapore Patient Action Awards, currently in its eighth year, is an annual event that recognises individuals and teams who have made a positive difference to the community against all odds. 

5.     Let me share with you two stories from this year’s award recipients. Mdm Tahirah Binte Mohamed will be receiving the Singapore Patient Caregiver Award this year. As a stay-at-home mother, she cared for her nine children, seven of whom have special needs. Beyond her role as a caregiver, Mdm Tahirah wanted to improve the caregiving journey for others. Drawing from her experiences of caring for her eldest son, who was diagnosed with depression, autism spectrum disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Mdm Tahirah has been sharing tips on self-care and overcoming grief since 2016 to more than 450 parents during regular sharing sessions at Rainbow Centre, which is a social service organisation which operates various special education schools across Singapore. She also created a Facebook page a year ago, to raise awareness of OCD. 

6.     The second story is our COVID-19 Response for Migrant Workers led by “ItsRainingRaincoats”, a local charity that promotes integration between migrant workers and residents of Singapore. During the surge of COVID-19 cases in the dormitories in 2020, migrant workers had to be quarantined in their quarters. Volunteers from all walks of life came together to distribute hot meals and care packs to these workers across the island. As travel restrictions were in force then, volunteers went the extra mile to seek sponsorships from telecommunication companies, so that migrant workers could remain in touch with their families. These acts of service demonstrated the volunteers’ generosity, compassion and empathy. In recognition of its efforts, “ItsRainingRaincoats” will be receiving the Singapore Community Engagement Initiative Award this year.

7.     While I only have time to recount the experiences of Mdm Tahirah and itsRainingRaincoats, the other 13 awardees have equally inspirational and heartwarming journeys to share. Please join me in congratulating all 15 award recipients of this year’s Singapore Patient Action Awards.

8.     All caregivers and volunteers play a significant role in a patient’s recovery – providing companionship, acts of care, and constant encouragement. For this reason, it is important that they too, stay well mentally, physically, and emotionally, to provide the best care to those they serve. Let us continue our journey of inspiring and encouraging one another, to build healthier and happier communities. 

9.     Thank you.

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