THE Methodist Welfare Services officially launched Agape Methodist Hospice (AMH) on Oct 4 following a restructuring exercise that transformed AMH into a clinical homecare service with a full-time doctor and two palliative care nurses.
The launch is a milestone in the history of AMH, which has served 67 patients since its homecare service resumed operations in February this year.
The restructured service means that terminally ill patients can avail themselves of medical and nursing support in the comfort of their homes. They can also borrow oxygen concentrators, hospital beds, wheelchairs and commodes. Trained volunteers assist by providing emotional and spiritual support, running errands, doing household chores and accompanying patients for medical checks.
Even as AMH transforms and consolidates its hospice service, it is clear that the Singapore Government is set to play a bigger role in the care of the dying. The Ministry of Health announced in October that it will expand hospice care, rope nursing homes into caring for the dying and increase the number of doctors and nurses trained in palliative care.
The Health Ministry also said that the number of hospice beds in Singapore is expected to grow by about 20 per cent in the next five to seven years.
The AMH hospice homecare service is available to Christians and non-Christians alike, regardless of age or race.
Bishop Dr Robert Solomon, who was the Guest-of-Honour, spoke about how the ministry to the terminally ill was very much a heartbeat of The Methodist Church in Singapore.
In his welcome address, AMH Chairman, Mr Chan Wing Leong, shared on the early days of the ministry, which was started in 1990.
An AMH patient, Madam Lee, moved the audience when she sang the three Chinese hymns that keep her spirits up.
Dr Ting Wen Chang, a founding member serving on the current AMH Board, shared on some of the lessons he learnt through his 16 years’ involvement in AMH.
Testimonies from patients and their family members on how AMH has touched their lives and a presentation of AMH’s milestones were also shown.
Brenda Sng is the Operations Manager of Agape Methodist Hospice.