(from left) Dr Cheong May Anne, Dr Maverick Uy and Dr Arifin Trina​

When COVID-19 hit our shores, three doctors from the Singapore General Hospital went beyond their call of duty to help patients.

One of the best things about being part of the SingHealth family is being able to witness so much kindness, selflessness and compassion as we step into work each day. Going beyond the call of duty is second nature for many of our staff, especially those caring for patients.


This sense of mission was amplified as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across our nation affecting the lives and livelihoods of many. Staff from across the SingHealth cluster stepped-up, some beyond their comfort zone, to support this ongoing battle against the COVID-19.


“All of us felt blessed to be able to still have stable jobs, and receive so many gifts and letters of appreciation from members of the public” says Dr May Anne Cheong, Senior Resident and a member of the COVID-19 Junior Welfare Committee at Singapore General Hospital’s (SGH) Division of Medicine.


Dr Cheong, together with her fellow committee members, Dr Trina Arifin and Dr Maverick Uy, who are also Senior Residents at SGH, felt that they needed do more to pay it forward to those who are hardest hit by the coronavirus.


Dr Arifin added that during the several weeks she spent at the pneumonia wards, she encountered many patients, both locals and migrant workers, who were facing a number of challenges due to the pandemic. Many faced financial challenges as the “circuit breaker” measures had affected their jobs. Others felt lonely due to the strict visitor policy that had to be put in place for the safety of patients and their caregivers and the suspension of day care programmes.


Touched by the stories of hardship they encountered, the trio started a short message on their COVID-19 Welfare WhatsApp group. Their idea was simple: to rally colleagues to donate their Solidarity payments or any other amount they can spare towards helping the less fortunate and vulnerable in the community. With the support of Prof Kenneth Kwek, Chief Executive Officer, SGH, Asst Prof Phua Ghee Chee, Head and Senior Consultant, Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, SGH  and the SingHealth leadership, the three doctors worked with the SGH Development Office and Communications team to launch the “SGH Solidarity Pledge” (SSP) campaign within a week.


The campaign has raised over $25,000 since it was launched on 19 April 2020. Half of all donations will go towards the SGH Needy Patients Fund while the remainder will go towards the Healthy Communities Fund in support of the elderly and disenfranchised members of the community. The doctors have been very encouraged by the support they have received thus far. “We couldn’t have raised this much money on our own,” says Dr Uy, “We are very happy to have had the support of the SGH family in this fundraising campaign so that, together, we can do our part to help our patients in need.”


The doctors hope that this campaign will inspire more people to show compassion for others in difficult circumstances and offer a helping hand to those in need. Beyond financial support, Dr Arifin hopes that the campaign would show patients that they are not alone and that with the help they get, they can focus on their journey to recovery.


If you are inspired by the dedication of these doctors and would like to support their effort, please click here to make a contribution towards the SGH Solidarity Pledge.

For more information, please contact SGH Development Office at giftstosgh@sgh.com.sg.