Doctors run to raise money for NUHCS' Heart Fund
While advanced heart treatment techniques are available in Singapore, some are not covered by the government's healthcare schemes.
That is why 18 staff members from the National University Heart Centre Singapore (NUHCS) department of cardiology ran a combined total of 180km at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on Dec 3 - to raise $50,000 for The Heart Fund - Keep the Beat campaign.
The campaign is part of The Heart Fund, which NUHCS set up in 2005.
It subsidises needy patients from middle- and low-income backgrounds who require advanced heart treatments, said cardiologist Dr Chai Ping, 49, one of the runners.
To date, the fund has raised more than $31,000 and is often used to help out when financial alternatives have been exhausted.
Donations can be made at the campaign page at nuhsfund.give.asia/story/keep_the_beat.
Dr Chai told The New Paper: "Regardless of income level, every patient in Singapore should have access to well-proven and beneficial medical treatments.
"Singaporeans can contribute by donating (to the fund) or by keeping themselves healthy."
Dr Chai hopes that subsidies from the fund can help underprivileged patients afford advanced treatments such as Tavi (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation), a safer alternative to open heart surgery for elderly patients with life-threatening heart diseases.
One beneficiary, Madam Parvathi, 82, had breathing difficulties due to the narrowing of her heart's valve.
The mother of six managed to have a Tavi done in September last yearafter The Heart Fund subsidised 31 per cent of her treatment, which had cost more than $50,000.
Her second son, Mr G. Ravee, 56, said: "I'm thankful for this fund and its donors. Without it, my mother wouldn't have survived."