There will still be a need for free Chinese medical institutions and traditional Chinese medicine, even as the Government builds more restructured and community hospitals.
Speaking at the opening of the Singapore Thong Chai Medical Institution in Chin Swee Road yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said: "These services help Singaporeans, especially our older citizens, maintain a healthy and well-balanced life, and provide comfort and healing."
Services such as those provided by Thong Chai play an important complementary role to Singapore's national health-care system, he added.
Work on the institution's S$5.8 million renovation project began in October 2010, and was the first major update for the building since its move from its Eu Tong Sen Street compound in 1976.
Funds for the expansion of the clinic were raised in March 2010 during the Thong Chai Charity Show.
Set up in 1867 by Chinese immigrants to offer free Chinese medical treatment to the poor and needy, Thong Chai is one of the oldest charitable clinics in Singapore.
Two new clinics were set up recently to cater to more patients. Thong Chai opened its first housing- estate branch in Ang Mo Kio last month, while a clinic at Sengkang Community Club opened last Friday.
Together, the three centres will see about 1,000 patients daily, up from more than 700 patients currently.
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