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Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary and Adviser to Tanjong Pagar GRC Grassroots Organisation
Mr Hsieh Fu Hua, Chairman, National University Health System (NUHS) Board
Professor Yeo Khay Guan, Chief Executive, NUHS
Associate Professor Jason Phua, CEO, Alexandra Hospital
Mr Tan Chong Meng, Deputy Chairman, NUHS Board
Members of the NUHS Board
Guests, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen


1. It is with great pleasure that I join you today for the groundbreaking ceremony for the redevelopment of Alexandra Hospital. 
The Historical Significance of Alexandra Hospital
2. We are standing on grounds with some significant history. To start with, Alexandra Hospital is located in the Queenstown district. This is Singapore’s first satellite town built by the Singapore Improvement Trust, which is the precursor to the Housing & Development Board. 
3. It was named after Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate her coronation in 1952. Places and roads in Queenstown are named after towns and cities in Scotland, where the Queen spent much of her childhood. However, when the Queen visited Singapore in 1972, she did not visit Queenstown, but went to Toa Payoh instead. 
4. This hospital itself is an important historical landmark. It was originally built by the British in 1938 as the British Military Hospital Singapore. It was named after Princess Alexandra of Denmark, who became Queen consort to King Edward VII, who helped set up King Edward VII College of Medicine which later became today’s National University of Singapore.
5. In 1942, the hospital was seized by the Japanese military, renamed as Tsukushi Branch Hospital, and served the Imperial Japanese Army. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, it returned to British stewardship. Finally, in 1971, it became a public hospital dedicated to serving the healthcare needs of the local population. 
6. I was told that at one point, the grounds became a bit run down and Mr Liak Teng Lit decided to spruce it up. That was when we started the process of greening this campus and making it into a healing environment. At that time, I think he encouraged nurses to stay healthy and climb the stairs.
7. As we redevelop Alexandra Hospital, we will recognise its significant historical and heritage value. Hence, we will be conserving Blocks 1, 2, and 6 which currently house clinics, wards, operating theatres and diagnostic imaging. These three blocks have been gazetted by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. 
8. For buildings that are not gazetted for conservation, the redevelopment team is adopting a curated dismantling approach. It will incorporate elements of the historical buildings into the new hospital’s architecture, blending the past with the present in a harmonious manner. For instance, parts of the new buildings’ façades will take on the colour of the heritage blocks’ roofs. Artefacts from the curated dismantling can be incorporated into the redeveloped campus. 
A Champion of Active Ageing and Unique Care Model
9. This redevelopment project will ensure that Alexandra Hospital continue to play a pivotal role in the Queenstown District, just as it has over the last 80 over years. 
10. Today, Queenstown is home to one of the country’s oldest populations. In 2021, it was announced that Queenstown would be Singapore’s first Health District, a collaborative effort involving the Ministry of Health (MOH), NUHS and Alexandra Hospital, as well as public agencies and community partners to support residents’ health and wellness.
11. This initiative aligns with our national response to an ageing population, which is to provide holistic care and promote the wellbeing of our seniors, by encouraging active ageing in a living environment and community that they are familiar and most comfortable with. 
12. To do so, community facilities and infrastructure need to be aged friendly, and there need to be amenities and community programmes that engage seniors’ bodies and minds. 
13. In this aspect, Alexandra Hospital will be a major stakeholder and contributor. Over the years, it has been collaborating with Queenstown’s Active Ageing Centres, reaching out to as many seniors as possible, promoting preventive health, managing chronic conditions, and enhancing health literacy.
14. The redeveloped Alexandra Hospital is expected to open progressively from 2028. The project will comprise a hospital of about 1,300 beds and a Nursing Home with about 400 beds.
15. The hospital is called an Integrated General Hospital (IGH). It has a unique operating model which allows patients to remain in the same bed while receiving acute and subsequently step-down care. There is no need for a physical transfer as the hospital bed and resources surrounding it can pivot between an acute hospital bed and a community hospital bed. 
16. So far, Alexandra Hospital has found that through this approach, the model can shorten the length of stay for patients who require both acute and community hospital care. When the redevelopment is completed, this unique care model will be implemented at scale across many patient types, and we look forward to seeing the health outcomes. It is a bold and unprecedented experiment, and we really look forward to it.
NUH Kent Ridge Redevelopment 
17. Alexandra Hospital is part of the NUHS cluster. Other than the redevelopment of Alexandra Hospital, other NUHS hospitals are also going through significant enhancement or transformation. 
18. Ng Teng Fong General Hospital has gotten a significant boost recently with the completion of the 200-bed Transitional Care Facility West (TCF@West). The general hospital can now transfer patients in stable condition to the facility, while these patients are waiting for longer term care arrangements, and this has helped ease patient load at the hospital. 
19. MOH has started planning for the new Tengah General and Community Hospital, also to be operated by NUHS. It is expected to open in the early 2030s. 
20. The anchor hospital under NUHS is the National University Hospital (NUH), within the Kent Ridge campus. NUH serves as the Western region’s main emergency and trauma care hospital. Being co-located with the National University of Singapore and the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, it is also an academic medical centre. 
21. Over the years, NUH has undertaken various campus rejuvenation efforts. This includes the construction of the NUH Medical Centre in 2013, which houses the National University Cancer Institute Singapore. In 2019, we added the National University Centre for Oral Health and the Khoo Teck Puat – National University Children’s Medical Institute.
22. However, the NUH buildings themselves are old – 40 to 50 years old. They include the wards, Emergency Departments, diagnostic labs and operating theatres. To ensure that NUH continue to meet the region’s evolving healthcare needs, we are therefore planning a redevelopment of the entire NUH campus. 
23. The recently completed buildings will certainly be kept, while the old structures, like musical chairs, will be progressively torn down and rebuilt. This will likely add more to the hospital capacity, intensify land use and also improve the existing road network. We will also do this while ensuring minimal disruption to hospital operations. It will be business as usual while we redevelop the entire campus.
24. The redevelopment is scheduled to commence in 2025, and it will take well over a decade because of the process and the approach that we are taking. 
25. Beyond physical development, NUHS will also reconfigure services across its hospitals to optimise and improve the availability of care. Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Alexandra Hospital and Tengah General and Community Hospital will expand their scope of secondary care. Specialties such as geriatrics, palliative and inpatient mental health care can also be right sited from NUH to Alexandra Hospital. This will allow NUH to focus on the more complex, elective, and procedural work as a tertiary centre.
26. In closing, I would like to thank the Alexandra Hospital Campus team and NUHS for your hard work in planning and executing this redevelopment project. You had the help of many stakeholders, including the MOH Holdings team, the team of consultants comprising architects, medical planners, mechanical & electrical engineers, civil & structural engineers, security & blast consultants, quantity surveyors and piling contractor. The team has worked hard to ensure that the project is on track, despite having major disruptions during COVID-19. 
27. To all residents and members of the community joining us today, there is much to look forward to in terms of healthcare infrastructure and facilities improvement in the area that you are living in. I wish everyone the best of health. Thank you.

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