Sian Chay Medical Institution was established at Victoria Street in 1901 by a group of benevolent individuals to provide free medical treatment and medicine for the poor. After over a century, Sian Chay Medical Institution is still contributing to the community and serving the people.
Towards the end of Qing Dynasty, Chinese immigrants from Southern Provinces of China came to Singapore to better the lives of theirs and those at home. However, due to the hot and humid weather, coupled with the poor financial condition, these poverty-stricken immigrants did not get timely medical treatment. In view of this, some kind-hearted people established Sian Chay Medical Institution to address this situation.
Since its establishment, Sian Chay Medical Institution has received sponsorships and tremendous support from enthusiastic people. With this financial support, Sian Chay Medical Institution provided free medical consultation and medicine to local Singaporeans and reached out to the needy folks in the neighbouring Johor. But it is not easy to obtain enough donations. To keep the Institution running with rising maintenance cost, the hardworking founders and directors raised funds from door to door locally and overseas, even from regions like Johor on bicycles.
With the growing number of patients, the social service and operational costs went up correspondingly. Fortunately, philanthropist Wang Zhenhuang, an Indonesian entrepreneur and Lin Tuiqian, a local entrepreneur, donated handsomely to the Medical Institution. With the funds, the Medical Institution acquired a premises at 124 Bencoolen Street as the permanent headquarters.
Sian Chay Medical Institution moved into the building in 1916. We will always remember the philanthropists Wang Zhenhuang and Lin Tuiqian, and other generous people like Guo Keji, Zhang Wenliu, Zhang Shuyuan and Wang Youhai, as well as the general public, businessmen and employees who supported Sian Chay Medical Institution financially or physically. Their great efforts and contributions will always be remembered by the future generations.
Sian Chay Medical Institution intended to build an eight-storey building at the original site, but the plan was called off when the government took back the site for other purpose in 1975. With concerted efforts of the board of directors then, which included Lin Shengzhu, Huang Yihuan, Guo Chengyuan, Li Zhu’an and Zhang Zhengyi, set up a special fundraising committee and acquired the current site at 610 Geylang Road. The Institution moved to the current site in 1979.
The number of patients grew from the initial 16,000 a year to 40,000-50,000 people at its peak with an average of 4,000 patients a month. The increase in number of patients indicated the trust, support and encouragement that the patients had with the Institution. This reinforces the faith of the board of directors to build a medical institution to better serve the poor & needy.
For over a century , Sian Chay Medical Institution has been providing free medical care and medication to the poor and needy in the community regardless of social status, race or religion. In this respect , Sian Chay Medical Institution has earned the recognition, praise, support and trust from all sectors of the community.
Chairman Toh Soon Huat has mooted the 5 Core Values, ” Forgiveness, Universal Love, Compassion, Gratitude, Blessing” as the service motto for Sian Chay in support of the nation building and social harmony. Sian Chay also embraced the beliefs, “Nation Progresses, Family Prospers. Family Harmony, Successful Endeavours. Forward with the Nation, Bonding with the People.” while engaging in social welfare, community services and various charitable activities to serve the society.
Since the establishment of the 78th (2008) Council, Chairman of Sian Chay Medical Institution, Toh Soon Huat, Vice Chairmen Peter Lim Yong Guan, Patrick Khoo Hang Choong, Ricky Kok Kuan Hwa, Secretary Teo Ngiang Heng, Social Affairs Director Chua Swee Wah, Treasurer Simon Keak and all the Board Directors while embracing the vision of the pioneers, moving out from the traditional base to open new branches in the HDB heartlands to serve the public. In addition to participating in community charity events, Sian Chay Medical Institution also advocates health awareness and wellness lifestyle to the senior citizens and inculcates the idea of prevention is better than cure to the general public. Sian Chay Medical Institution demonstrated the spirit of giving to the public.
In 2015, our 10 TCM branches served an aggregate of 148,860 patient visits (50 fold growth from 2,958 in 2008) including 86,620 TCM cases (36 fold growth from 2,434 in 2008), 30,980 acupuncture treatments (59 fold growth from 524 in 2008) and 31,260 tuina therapy sessions. Prescription dispensed 374,874 dosages. We anticipated the total number of patient visits to grow to 680,000 and the total number of prescription to increase to 1,300,000 dosages in 2018.
The Prime Minister Mr. Lee Hsien Loong had officiated at the opening of the Hougang branch on 12 Aug 2012 and spoke highly of Sian Chay Medical Institution. He encouraged the Institution to adhere to its missions and extend its services to more people. Apart from traditional chinese medicine consultation and acupuncture services, Hougang branch introduced Tuina therapy, which is well received by patients from Singapore.
The opening of the Punggol South Branch and Punggol South Wellness Centre was officiated by Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Teo Chee Hean on 5 October 2013. Mr. Teo also spoke highly of Sian Chay’s services, which greatly benefited about 10,000 residents and public.
In partnership with the Punggol South CCC, Sian Chay Medical Institution established the Punggol South Wellness Centre in October 2013. It offers a variety of wellness programmes, mobile library and various recreational activities, etc which benefited more than 10,000 residents to date.
On his visit to Sian Chay Medical Institution Main Branch on 24 February 2014, Mr. Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office) was of the opinion that Sian Chay could provide better services to residents islandwide. With his full support, Sian Chay was able to set up the Whampoa Branch which was officially opened on 6 Dec 2014, with Mr. Heng Chee How officiating at the opening ceremony.
8 September 2014, Lee Foundation has made a major donation of $1 million for Sian Chay to establish a Pioneer Generation Medical Fund, which was officially launched on 1 January 2016. The designated donation will be able to subsidize 100,000 patient visits by the Pioneer Generation.
In response to the request of Mr. Teo for Sian Chay Medical Institution to render free TCM services to the Pasir Ris West residents. The Pasir Ris West Branch was opened to serve the residents on 29 December 2014. Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Teo Chee Hean officially declared open the Pasir Ris West Branch on 22 November 2015.
Boon Lay Branch commenced its operation in May 2015, and its opening ceremony was officiated by Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Teo Chee Hean on 12 July 2015 accompanied by Mr. Lawrence Wong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Ministry of Communications and Information, Mr. Arthur Fong, MP for West Coast GRC and Mr. Cedric Foo Chee Keng, MP for Pioneer SMC.
The opening of the Boon Lay Wellness Centre was officiated by Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Teo Chee Hean on 12 July 2015.
In partnership with Boon Lay CCC and PCF, Sian Chay Medical Institution set up the Boon Lay Wellness Centre in June 2015. It offers residents a variety of wellness programmes, computer classes, dance classes, Karaoke sessions and many recreational activities. To-date it served thousands of residents.
Sian Chay commemorated the official opening of its Head Office, Geylang Main Branch and 535 Geylang Branch (TCM Tumour Treatment Centre) on 1 August 2015. Our Honourable Adviser, Mr. Heng Chee How, the Senior Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office) officiated at the opening ceremonies. 535 Geylang Branch also provides medical treatment to low-income cancer patients through TCM medication and counselling. The Branch was able to serve 100 patients every day.
21 November 2015, Mr. Lee Chin Cheng, Honorary Secretary, San Wang Wu Ti Religious Society, was entasked by his Hon President to visit Sian Chay Corporate Office and Geylang Main Branch to better appreciate the Vision, Mission, Culture and Spirit of Sian Chay Medical Institution. Mr. Lee was deeply impressed with Sian Chay’s efficient operations and professionalism; and has committed to Chairman Toh Soon Huat that San Wang Wu Ti will be raising $1 million to support the charitable works of Sian Chay. Todate, San Wang Wu Ti has raised and donated over $190,000.
Jalan Kayu Branch commenced operations on 1 December 2015 and its opening ceremony was officiated by Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong on 27 December 2015, accompanied by Dr. Lam Pin Min, Minister of State (Health) and Members of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC, Mr. Gan Thiam Poh and Mr. Darryl David. The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation to Sian Chay Medical Institution for providing this service to the residents. Pei Hwa Foundation has also kindly waived the rental of the Jalan Kayu Branch premises for 6 years valued at $500,000.
682 Geylang Branch (Centre of Excellence for Depression) and 692 Geylang Branch (Centre of Excellence for Orthopaedic) commenced their operations on 1 December 2015 and the joint opening ceremony was officiated by Mr. Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development on 26 February 2016, accompanied by Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef, MP for Marine Parade GRC, Sian Chay Chairman Toh Soon Huat and Directors.
The Sian Chay Charity Gala Dinner and Concert 2016 on 19 March 2016, was officiated by President Dr. Tony Tan Keng Yam at Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo. The Special Guests included Mr. Ng Chee Meng, Ag Minister for Education (Schools) and Senior Minister of State (Transport) and his wife, Mr. Ong Ye Kung, Ag Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Senior Minister of State (Defence), Mr. Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State (Prime Minister’s Office), Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State (National Development & Trade and Industry) and his wife, Dr. Lam Pin Min, Minister of State (Health) and his wife, Assoc Professor Fatimah Lateef, MP for Marine Parade GRC and Mr. Henry Kwek, MP for Nee Soon GRC and his wife. The Charity Gala, attended by 3,500 guests, raised $5 million.
5 April 2016, Sian Chay Medical Institution received a personal donation of $500,000 from a benevolent individual, Mr. Chok, to support the charitable works and medical service of Sian Chay.
Ang Mo Kio (Trans-cab HQ) Branch commenced operations on 16 April 2016. Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State (National Development & Trade and Industry) officiated the opening ceremony on 25 June 2016.
17 May 2016, Mr. Kenny Lim visited Sian Chay Medical Institution and was briefed by Chairman Toh Soon Huat on the operations and development of Sian Chay in the TCM Services. In memory of his father and his charitable works, Mr. Kenny Lim has pledged a donation of $1 million to Sian Chay Medical Institution, instilling filial piety and gratefulness in the next generation. This donation will enable Sian Chay to offer a holistic wellness programme to benefit more residents.
Yi Jia International adopted 610 Geylang Main Branch with a corporate donation of $300,000 for a year. Dato George Guo Bing Ting, the Founder and Board Chairman of Yi Jia International presented the cheque to Chairman Toh Soon Huat BBM, Guest of Honour Dr. Lam Pin Min, Minister of State for Ministry of Health witnessed the cheque presentation on 26 August 2016. Yi Jia and Sian Chay will work together on the journey of charity, with the philosophy of philanthropy.
5 September 2016, Lee Foundation donated another $1 million to Sian Chay Medical Institution to top up the Pioneer Generation Medical Fund to subsidize the medical expenses of the Pioneer Generation seeking TCM consultation and treatment at Sian Chay TCM Clinics. The designated donation will be subsidize 100,000 patient visits by the Pioneer Generation.
3 October 2016, Marsiling Branch commenced operation.
25 October 2016, Yio Chu Kang Branch commenced operation.
By 2016 Sian Chay is expected to handle 345,000 patient visits with the total operating expenditure of $5 million.
Sian Chay is an approved Institution of a Public Character (IPC) and all donations are entitled to tax exemption. The IPC status has given public confidence and encouraged more donations. Fundraising activities organized by Sian Chay Medical Institution included Charity Art Exhibition, CNY Charity Concert, Charity Golf and Dinner, Charity Gala Dinner & Concert had received overwhelming support from donors.
Sian Chay Medical Institution plans to have 20 branches islandwide providing free TCM medical consultation services with subsidized medicine and tuina therapy services to support many senior citizens who are less mobile and staying far away to seek timely consultation and treatment at their convenience. This care and concern will enable them to enjoy good health and blessing during their golden years.
The Directors of Sian Chay Medical Institution, adhering to the vision, values and philanthropic spirit of the pioneering directors, further promote the Chinese tradition of mutual help and mission of compassion in service to more beneficiaries in the society.