Singapore Philanthropist Toh Soon Huat Talking About the Development of Century Old Sian Chay Medical Institution
Located near the equator, and a famous garden city, the island country of Singapore attracts people from all over the world for its tropical beauty, clean environment, strong security, and shopping paradise
Singapore’s economy is well developed, and its standard of prices and consumption are also relatively high. Among them, cost of medical treatment and medication becomes an affordability issue for some of the elderly and low-income people. Sian Chay Medical Institution, a well-known self-organized charity in Singapore was formed 119 years when China immigrants came to Singapore, then known as “Nanyang”, helping the poor by giving clothes and medicine to them regardless of race, religion, status or nationality. Its mission is to benefit the people, by providing free or low-cost TCM consultation, tuina and acupuncture services.
In 2008, Sian Chay Medical Institution had difficulty sustaining its operation and was on the verge of shutting down. Mr. Teo Kim Chuan, who led Sian Chay Medical Institution then, had to persuade Mr Toh Soon Huat four times before he successfully persuaded him to take over the chairmanship of Sian Chay Medical Institution. Sian Chay Medical Institution successfully revived and thrived.
Sian Chay Medical Institution is a Social Enterprise under Societal Management for Social Service. Sian Chay Medical Institution has 15 branches islandwide, serving about 1400 patients daily, and operates and sponsors 4 wellness centres which organizes many diverse meaningful recreational activities for many residents every year. Sian Chay receives appreciation and praise from patients and benevolent people of the society.
Free consultation is provided for low-income families and the elderly. The elderly aged from 60 to 65 only pay $1.50 for a day’s medicine. The Pioneer Generation receive free TCM consultation and medication. This is to thank the Pioneer Generation for their contributions and sacrifice for the country. Those who need special assistance can also apply for free TCM consultation and medication.
Sian Chay Medical Institution not only provides free TCM consultation and medication, but also organizes free Lunar New Year, Mother’s Day, Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival activities. Sian Chay ferry senior citizens and residents to watch sponsored concert performances. The poor elderly cannot afford to spend money on entertainment, and they enjoy watching these performances. Sian Chay also distributed 20,000 walking aid umbrellas to the elderly, given away more than 5000 rice dumpling and 10,000 boxes of moon cakes to patients and low-income families. More than 8000 elderly people were invited to enjoy concert performances. Part-time hairdressers and volunteers were engaged to come to our branches to give free haircut to the elderly. Well-known professionals were invited to give art classes, music classes and other activities to the community. Sian Chay also distributed more than 10,000 goodie bags containing daily necessities to low-income families living in rental flats to care for their physical and mental health.
On Mother’s Day last year, under the leadership of Chairman Toh Soon Huat, Sian Chay Medical Institution and Singapore SPA BSFIT launched a Mother’s Day flower giveaway event on an unprecedented scale. On that day, 217,600 carnations were given away to warm mothers with 217,600 well-wishes. Seeing their happy smiles was very touching and warm. Chairman Toh Soon Huat advocates that children all over the world should be grateful and care for their mothers and give compassion to loved ones and people in need. The Mother’s Day event received attention and praise across the entire spectrum of the society, and also broke the Guinness world record witnessed by the official of Guinness Book of Records.
In view of these, we would like to thank the platform provided by Sian Chay and Chairman Toh Soon Huat JP. Under his leadership, all can feel the warmth provided by society and humanity.
A reporter came to Sian Chay Medical Institution and saw a continuous flow of patients seeking medical treatment. She managed to interview many patients. She asked one of them, an elderly patient: “how did you come to know about Sian Chay Medical Institution?” She answered, “I have known Sian Chay for many years, it’s very good here. As a Pioneer Generation member, I receive free consultation and medication. I am very grateful. When I come each time, I donate a little. “Do you know Chairman of Sian Chay Medical Institution Toh Soon Huat?” asked the reporter. She replied: ” of course. There are very few people like him who serves the residents, he is great, compassionate, sacrificing, selfless, and few people like him have lasted so long. I think Singapore should be proud for having such a philanthropist, he has such great driving force, he is like a beacon, and I hope more can be like him.
Chairman Toh said: “when it comes to charity, there is no need to be sad. Charity is about contributing happily. When I do something, I will think for a long time. I am thinking how I can make more people have a better understanding of charity, brightness, and compassion. How can I influence more people to do charity, participate in charity, walk this bright path together to serve the public, and step forward to help the poor? This is the universal love and broad spirit propagated by Sian Chay Medical Institution. My vision is for Sian Chay Medical Institution to help more people and advance forward.