“Be open to trying new ideas and not be overly afraid of making mistakes.” That was the advice from the guest of honour Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Communications and Information, Chee Hong Tat.
His words resonated well with the theme of this year’s Healthcare Infrastructure Technology and Engineering Conference (HI.TEC) - Cost Effective Hospital Design: Doing More With Less.
Speaking on 19 January morning at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, MOS Chee added that MOHH and the public sector institutions should be bold in innovating and pushing the boundaries to develop better healthcare models and solutions.
“MOH Holdings can be a pathfinder for the design of future healthcare facilities. The expertise will benefit Singapore and can be applied to other countries which are ramping up their healthcare facilities. This is one of the ways for Singapore to turn our challenges into opportunities through innovation,” he said.
Delegates at the two-day conference, which focused on tackling the challenges that most countries face with healthcare infrastructure costs especially with an ageing population, took these words to heart. The 11 presentations – MOHH colleagues Lenny Chew and Joseph Toh were involved in two of them – were followed by frank panel discussions that often tested the time limits.
So much so, even the tea and lunch breaks saw the 300-plus regional healthcare policy makers, leaders, academics and professionals in the healthcare infrastructure development industry from Singapore and around the world deep in discussion even as they tucked in.
Many of the delegates, especially those who had attended previous editions of HI.TEC , were full of praise for the topic of discussion and the overall quality of the event.
Israeli architect Yuval Geni told @MOHH: “This event is really outstanding. The organisation is perfect and the quality of presentation is remarkable. It’s a really good opportunity to come back to Singapore to see what is going on in different locations of the world.”
One of the speakers at this year’s conference, Ms Peta de Jager from the Research Group Leader for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa, said: “I feel very excited. I feel like I am in very exclusive company and prestigious audience.”
Chief Healthcare Infrastructure Projects Officer Koh Beng Thong was delighted by the positive response and said: “This is the fourth edition of the conference and we are very proud to see the growing participation over the years. Now we have to work hard to make the next one even better!” .