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Integrated Care Learning Symposium Opening Speech by Prof Tan Tai Yong

Dr Maliki Osman, Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Education and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs

Distinguished guests, friends, and colleagues.

1. Good morning and welcome to the inaugural Integrated Care Learning Symposium at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS). It is a great honour to have you with us today as we embark on this journey of learning, collaboration, and innovation.

2. Our theme for today's symposium, “Strengthening Capabilities for Integrated Care in a ‘Super-Aged' Society’ is highly pertinent as we face the challenges of a fast-ageing population and an evolving healthcare and social care landscape. 

3. Singapore is one of many countries in the world grappling with ageing populations. Official statistics reveal that the proportion of senior citizens in Singapore, aged 65 and above, increased from 11.1 per cent in 2012 to 18.4 per cent in 2022. This trajectory means that by 2030, seniors will make up nearly one-quarter of our population. 

4. Our population is not just ageing; it is ageing rapidly. 

5. In a way, Singapore faces pressures on both sides.  It has one of the world's lowest fertility rates and one of the world's longest life expectancies, having recently been named one of the Blue Zones in Dan Buettner’s documentary. 

6. Addressing the needs of our ageing population, ensuring that they enjoy a high quality of life, access to essential healthcare services and robust social support systems requires that we strengthen our capabilities in integrated care. This requires the harnessing of collective expertise and innovation through collaboration. 

7. As we gather here today, we are on the verge of forging new and significant partnerships that will help pave the way for a brighter future in integrated care. One of the key highlights of this event is the signing of Memoranda of Understanding with seven esteemed partners from both the healthcare and social sectors. 

8. These partners include:
i) Agency for Integrated Care
ii) Fei Yue Community Services
iii) Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital
iv) Lions Befrienders Service Association (Singapore)
v) National Healthcare Group
vi) National University Health System, and 
vii) Singapore Health Services Pte Ltd

9. The partnerships we are forging today testify to our unwavering commitment to addressing social healthcare issues. We will work closely with our partners on areas such as human capital development and capability building, creating a mutually beneficial environment through knowledge exchange, learning activities and, very importantly, applied research projects.

10. Today's symposium is not only a gathering of like-minded individuals and organisations, but it is also a platform for sharing innovative practices, knowledge, and experiences. 

11. We have the privilege of hearing from our partners, who will share their best practices and insights from both healthcare and social care perspectives. In addition, a closed-door dialogue among our partners will explore how we can collaborate even more effectively through SUSS to make an impact. 

12. I am confident that today's symposium will set the stage for transformative change that will make a profound difference in the lives of the population in Singapore, especially our seniors so that each can live a long, healthy, and productive life.

13. In closing, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all our partners, our Guest-of-Honour, Dr Maliki Osman, and everyone for joining us on this momentous occasion. 

14. Thank you. 


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