“It is not a question of ‘if’, but ‘when’, a terrorist attack will strike our shores” – you would have probably heard of this familiar phrase which has been used in publicity posters all over Singapore to raise awareness on security preparedness. While our national police force and citizens aim to ready ourselves in the event of a terrorist attack, how prepared are our public healthcare institutions (PHI)?

Security exercises, simulated as they might be, are therefore crucial to our preparedness. At NHCS, our Support Services colleagues have been conducting several security exercises routinely that not only include training of our security personnel, but also constantly preparing and reminding our staff to stay vigilant and alert in the event of an attack or heightened security alert.

Inaugural Vehicle Drill on SGH Campus

On 30 August 2019, for the first time on SGH campus, a large-scale Vehicle Access Control Exercise involving NHCS, SGH and Certis CISCO, was conducted for a simulated heightened security alert. The drill was attended by security representatives from various SingHealth institutions as well as the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

The simulated scenario was as follows:

“SPF has reliable intelligence that a radicalised cell is planning an attack against a PHI. As a preventive measure, the Ministry of Health (MOH) Security Posture is raised from level 4 to level 2 as part of the MOH Security Framework. In addition to all routine security measures, access control including vehicular checks will be carried out at NHCS building.”  

Jimmy Sum, Senior Manager, Operations (Support Services), who was overseeing the exercise, explained that there are four levels to the MOH Security Posture - from level 4, the Baseline Security for normal times, to level 1, the highest national security alert.

During the one-hour exercise, three checkpoint teams carried out the following procedures on random vehicles at the entrances of NHCS’ drop-off/pick-up driveway and loading/unloading bay:

  • Checking under the vehicles using undercarriage mirrors
  • Checking of car boots
  • Verifying and recording driver and passengers’ particulars

Various roles of the checkpoint team during the vehicle checks (courtesy of Certis CISCO).

Final briefing before the start of the exercise.

Vehicles were checked at the front porch of NHCS towards drop-off/pick-up driveway.

Another checkpoint going towards the loading/unloading bay of NHCS.

“It was the first time we conducted such an exercise on SGH campus and we greatly appreciated the support of fellow stakeholders. We have learned a lot through this exercise and would like to emphasise that when it comes to security, it’s important to be prepared,” shared Jimmy on the success of the security exercise.

Apart from preparing our security teams, it is also critical for staff to remain vigilant at all times. 

Do you know you have a part to play in keeping everyone safe?