While many of their colleagues and friends were preparing for their end-of-year holidays, a group of staff from the Family Medicine Academic Clinical Programme (FMACP) and SingHealth Polyclinics were packing for a very different trip overseas. In November 2019, the group embarked on the Family Medicine Global Health Initiative’s inaugural trip to San Vicente, Palawan, Philippines.

Established in 2019, the Family Medicine Global Health Initiative is a three-year programme spearheaded by SingHealth Polyclinics. This initiative aims to provide Family Medicine (FM) residents with an opportunity to adapt their practice in a resource-constrained environment, enabling them to acquire and develop clinical, teaching, research and leadership skills through practical experience. It is hoped that, through this programme, residents will gain an appreciation of the multi-faceted and complex factors that impact health and disease.  In addition, the initiative provides an avenue for residents to give back by supporting community health programmes in rural areas in the region with a week-long attachment each year.
The team, made up of 7 clinicians and nurses, travelled to the Philippines to share their knowledge and skills to local healthcare providers and community leaders in areas such as hand hygiene, wound care, first aid, basics of hypertension and diabetes. They will, in turn, impart what they have learnt to the local community through patient education materials to create awareness of appropriate hygiene practices, managing simple wounds and fractures, recognition of abnormal blood pressure readings, as well as dietary and lifestyle modifications for healthy living. The clinicians and nurses from FMACP also worked with the Rural Health Unit to run clinics in San Vicente, Barangay Poblacion and Barangay New Canipo which was a rich learning experience for the FM residents.

During the week that they were in Philippines, the residents and nurses trained a total of 40 healthcare workers and key community leaders, and saw 250 local patients through the clinic sessions.

In view of creating sustained impact through a long-term partnership, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between SingHealth and the Mayor of San Vicente, Philippines. To enable this meaningful partnership to take shape, the FMACP is tapping on the Gift of Family Fund for support. 

Family Medicine is a medical specialty dedicated to the comprehensive healthcare and treatment for the individual, family and community across all ages, genders and diseases. The Gift of Family Fund by SingHealth Polyclinics supports the advancement of Family Medicine through Research and Education endeavours, and provides support to polyclinics patients.

“This trip has broadened my horizon as I deepen my knowledge and skills in the practice of family medicine. I learned what it means to really empathise with what patients are going through by standing in the patient's shoes, and coming up with care plans that are based on their priorities. I also learned to be flexible and adaptive, and be open-minded for any unplanned changes and circumstances that crop up. The experience has definitely made me a better doctor”, shared Dr Quek Khai Wen, a FM resident who was part of the inaugural trip.

Your kind contribution will enable our family physicians to provide enhanced holistic care, uplift the lives of the less-privileged and elevate their training as Family Physician. 


For more information on the Gift of Family Fund, please contact:

Angeline Tan

Development Manager

Tel: 6350 7549 Email: angeline.tan.p.s@singhealth.com.sg