NTUC HEALTH MILESTONES

1971

As a follow-up to the Modernisation Seminar in 1969, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) began forming cooperatives in the 1970s. One of the first NTUC co-operatives to be established was NTUC Denticare, known today as Unity Denticare. NTUC Denticare was set up to provide quality and affordable dental services to workers. Its first dental clinic was opened in Corporation Drive in May 1972.

1992 – 1996

In the early 1990s, NTUC recognised the concerns of the public over rising healthcare costs and saw the need for a co-operative to help moderate prices of healthcare essentials. The Labour Movement set up NTUC Healthcare and opened its first pharmacy retail outlet in NTUC FairPrice Clementi. By 1996, NTUC Healthcare had 18 pharmacy outlets, and unveiled a new brand identity – “Unity”.

1997

In 1997, NTUC recognised the need to provide quality and affordable eldercare services for middle income families and set up NTUC Eldercare Co-operative Limited. Back then, the Labour Movement anticipated the challenges of an aging population, and with declining birth rates, the support working families would need to care for their elderly parents.

1999

NTUC Eldercare set up its first social day care centre at Marsiling on 4 January 1999. The aim of the day care centre was to provide support to working families by giving them peace of mind that their elderly loved ones were being cared for by trained professionals while they were at work. The centre aimed to engage the elderly in social interactive activities, such as regular exercises, interesting games and festive celebrations, while their family members were at work in the day.

2002

NTUC Denticare merged with NTUC Healthcare to serve the community in the area of healthcare.

2007

We launched the Care@home service as a pilot project with government to provide eldercare services to the frail elderly who are home-bound and require care while their children are away at work.

Two Unity Pharmacy outlets, located in Great World City and Ang Mo Kio, were awarded the Pro-Family Business Mark for their family-friendly service and facilities.

2009

We introduced home nursing service to provide basic clinical care, such as injection and wound cleaning.

2010

We took over the management of Henderson Senior Citizens’ Home, the May Wong Lifestyle Centre and the May Wong Social Centre from the Chinese Women’s Association.

The “Together We Care” caregivers training programme was launched to equip caregivers with better basic knowledge and skills to care for the elderly.

2011

NTUC Healthcare Co-operative Limited was renamed NTUC Unity Healthcare Co-operative Limited. NTUC Denticare was now Unity Denticare.

We opened our first SilverACE Senior Activity Centre (SAC) in Redhill. The SACs are drop-in centres for vulnerable seniors with weak family support in designated lower-income neighbourhoods where they can take part in social activities and remain engaged with the community. The SAC doubles up as support centres where seniors can turn to for help in times of emergency.

2012

NTUC Healthcare introduced case management services to vulnerable seniors through a team of trained social workers to provide Cluster Support. We were appointed in 2012 by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to operate Senior Cluster Networks (SCN); and now run two Cluster Support teams at Bukit Merah and Taman Jurong. Our Cluster Support teams conduct regular visits to vulnerable seniors with little or no family support, and connect them with relevant community partners for social or financial assistance when needed.

2013

Funded by the Ministry of Health, we began the Place and Train pilot programme in June 2013 to re-design the job function of care officers; from one full-time senior care assistant into three distinct job roles which can be taken up by part-time workers. The training curriculum was re-designed into bite-sized modules to allow back-to-work mums, those looking for a career switch, or early retirees to jumpstart into their part-time roles while supporting the manpower needs of the eldercare industry.

2014

Unity Family Medicine Clinic was opened in May 2014 in collaboration with the National Healthcare Group (NHG), to provide one-stop, affordable healthcare for residents in the Serangoon New Town and Braddell Heights housing estates. This clinic will provide continuing care in the community, giving patients more options especially for chronic diseases.

A major milestone was achieved in July 2014 with the integration of NTUC Eldercare and NTUC Unity Healthcare into a single entity – NTUC Health Co-operative Ltd. NTUC Health builds on the expertise and experience of the two co-operatives to do more for working families, particularly against the backdrop of an aging population.

On 14 July 2014, NTUC Health opened its first Senior Care Centre, a one-stop integrated day care facility for the elderly which also offers community nursing, active rehabilitation and dementia management services at Serangoon Central. The Centre is also among the first to roll out the Centre-Based Weekend Respite Care programme to support caregivers who need to take time off from looking after their elderly loved ones during weekends for urgent work commitments, to run errands or simply for a short break.

2015

SilverCOVE, an integrated senior wellness facility located at Marsiling Heights was opened to help seniors age in place healthily and happily. Apart from managing an Alert Alarm System for studio apartment residents, SilverCOVE offers a communal space and provides social and recreational services, healthcare management, senior-friendly fitness facilities, online grocery ordering and collection, lifelong learning initiatives and more.

On 1 October, NTUC Health opened the doors of its first nursing home in Jurong West, with a capacity of more than 280 residents. The residential facility provides professional, person-centred and holistic care with a focus on rehabilitating residents back to the comfort and familiarity of their own home / community. The facility also houses the Silver Circle Senior Care Centre which can serve up to 60 seniors.

NTUC Health launched its first Mobile Dental Clinic (MDC), operated by Unity Denticare and supported by the Health Productivity Fund-Intermediate and Long-Term Care (HPF-ILTC). The MDC was started as part of efforts to provide accessible and affordable dental care to seniors in the community as well as to seniors who are less mobile in nursing homes.

Care@home was awarded Finalist for Best Home Care Operator at the 3rd Eldercare Innovation Awards 2015. The ‘Oscars of the Eldercare Industry’, the Eldercare Innovation Awards recognises organisations in the Asia Pacific region including Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, that demonstrate innovation in their business, operational and service models to change the way older adults age.

2016

At the 4th Eldercare Innovation Awards 2016, SilverCOVE clinched the Best Approach to Support Ageing-in-Place and Best Silver Architecture – Community Spaces, and was a Finalist for Best Wellness Programme – Community.

2017

In February 2017, NTUC Health opened its 13th Silver Circle Senior Care Centre in Ci Yuan Community Club at Hougang; an 800 square metres facility with a capacity to serve some 80 seniors.

In January and April 2017, NTUC Health opened the doors of its second and third nursing homes in Chai Chee and Geylang East respectively. NTUC Health’s three nursing homes including its first at Jurong West, have a combined total of close to 1,000 beds. Each nursing home has a Silver Circle Senior Care Centre housed within its premises; which can serve a total of close to 300 seniors. With the third nursing home up and running, NTUC Health is now one of the largest nursing home providers in Singapore.

At the 5th Eldercare Innovation Awards 2017, Silver Circle won the Best Day Care Programme award; Care@home was awarded Finalist for the Best Technology for Operational Efficiency.

NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool (MFS) and NTUC Health’s Silver Circle and SilverCOVE partnered to develop a three-tiered inter-generational model to bring young children and seniors together. The programme aims to empower seniors by giving them a stronger sense of purpose through mentoring the younger generation, and inculcate in pre-schoolers values of empathy, compassion and respect for the elders.

NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool (MFS) and NTUC Health’s Silver Circle and SilverCOVE partnered to develop a three-tiered inter-generational model to bring young children and seniors together. The programme aims to empower seniors by giving them a stronger sense of purpose through mentoring the younger generation, and inculcate in pre-schoolers values of empathy, compassion and respect for the elders.