Official Opening of the SPD-Singapore Power Rehabilitation Centre – Speech by Mr Koh Nai Teck

Dr Balaji Sadasivan, Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Transport

RAdm (Ret) Kwek Siew Jin, President, Singapore Power Ltd
Mr Ong Pang Huat, Senior Manager (Finance), Singapore Pools (Private) Limited
Mr Low Wong Fook, Principal, Singapore Polytechnic
Dr Tan Choon Kim, Chairman, Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
Ladies and Gentlemen

Good morning and welcome to SPD.


1. When disabilities occur, many people lose the ability to live and work normally. This can lead to depression and loss of confidence and many newly disabled become socially and economically dependent on families, relatives and friends. Mere physical and occupational therapy may not provide sufficient help.

2. Having worked in partnership with people with physical disabilities over the last 39 years, we at SPD have come to understand the needs of the physically disabled. Over the years we have put in place several programmes and services to help them. Today, we are proud to be here at the official opening of our new Rehabilitation Centre where we can offer even more help to people with disabilities.

3. The SPD-Singapore Power Rehabilitation Centre is set up for people who become physically disabled after an illness such as a stroke, or sustaining a serious injury arising from an accident, or from complex medical and surgical conditions. It also provides therapy services to people with congenital disabilities. The objective of the centre is to provide total rehabilitation. This means providing therapy sessions as well as complementary rehabilitation like vocational training and social counseling. We do this so that the clients can gradually live and work independently again, and to become financially and socially independent.

4. From August 2002 to July 2003, we have held over 2,000 therapy sessions and helped over 100 clients. This service we offer is in line with the government’s efforts to optimize resources at acute care hospitals where non-acute cases are encouraged to be channeled to step-down facilities in order to free acute hospitals to focus on providing acute care. Knowing that we have a greater capacity than what we are currently doing, our challenge is to make ourselves known to the public health sector and to collaborate and work with them so that we can be of greater support.

5. The provision of total rehabilitation entails offering supporting services that are essential to rehabilitation. Transport is one example. We will strive to provide such services by seeking support from MOH and other government ministries so that we can make full use of our existing infrastructure to help the disabled.

6. With the Rehabilitation Centre, we are happy to be able to fulfill a need in our community where most rehabilitation programmes are catered to the elderly. Like the elderly, younger patients just discharged from acute care in hospitals and who require long term rehabilitative care will now have the option of using the services at the SPD-Singapore Power Rehabilitation Centre. Newly disabled, both young and elderly can benefit from the SPD-Singapore Power Rehabilitation Centre. Services such as home environment assessment, training in activities of daily living, and family and caregiver training are particularly useful for them and their caregivers. The Rehabilitation Centre is also equipped to handle post operative fractures and amputations and to rehabilitate those who suffer from stroke, Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis, cervical/lumbar spondylosis, as well as those who have undergone total hip replacement.

7. On top of these, SPD runs other programmes and services that encompass assistive technology, education, employment, vocational training, social and recreation, transport, social services, and family support. All programmes and services are made available to the clients of the Rehabilitation Centre where necessary.

8. The Rehabilitation Centre stands today only because of the help many of you here have extended. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Singapore Power for undertaking the operating cost of the Centre for the first three years, and to Singapore Pools for sponsoring the rehabilitation equipment. Similarly, thousands of Singapore Polytechnic students took part in two fundraisers dedicated to the Rehabilitation Centre and the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple’s generous donation have helped in a great way towards the establishment of the Rehabilitation Centre. I thank all of you.

9. And thank you for taking the time to be with us today. With your continued support, we look forward to making life brighter for people with disabilities through comprehensive and total rehabilitative care.

10. Thank you