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Good morning, everyone.

There were many teams that took part in the National Healthcare Innovation & Productivity Awards. All in all, I can feel the burst of innovation and energy here. I want to thank everybody. Do continue to keep that innovative enthusiasm up.

2. Today, the conference theme is “Building Bridges: Health and Social Care”. This is an important area of innovation and in time to come, we will see more innovation in this field. It is extremely important, which is why we have Healthier SG and are championing ageing care.

3. I have three points. First, sometimes we think of innovation as somebody who is very creative, with a free willing mind. I do not think so. I think innovation comes from discipline, especially when you work in an environment like healthcare where you have to be a very good physiotherapist, doctor or nurse, and over time, building upon those basic disciplines, drill yourself until you can create something new and innovative. It is a discipline, and not just a personal but organisational one.

4. In healthcare, we have many pilots, which are a way to get permission to innovate. But we do need to build discipline. While pilots are good and give us a sandbox to move forward, at some point there has to be discipline to identify the pilots that should translate to cluster and national policies.

5. Second, there is a need to share data for acute and social care to form healthcare. I am inspired by a few presentations just now, and I can see that these projects will be much better if residents’ data could be shared with them. There is a lot of data in the hospital, including patients’ data. Once you cross over to social care, they too need simple data such as how to reach out to a person who needs help, or a senior with chronic diseases.

6. Can that data be available? I believe today the law allows us to do that, but not enough is being done. This is one area as part of innovation discipline that we need to work on, to make sure the data is available to everyone who is involved in Healthier SG and create health for our nation.

7. Lastly, on acute and social care bridging, it is important to always keep things real. We need to translate our digital and clinical knowhow into something that makes sense on the ground. One of my greatest privileges is to be a Minister and a Member of Parliament at the same time. As a Minister, I hear about wonderful technology, and big ideas and policies. But on the ground, I have to talk to an aunty or uncle who does not understand these. We have to translate these into something very real that they can connect with and make a change to their lives.

8. I hope these three points provide food for thought, but more importantly, I hope that everyone keeps that innovative enthusiasm up and keep on working at it. Thank you.

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