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     FrontPage Edition: Thu 8 November 2007

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MOH starts inquiry into Ren Ci Hospital and Medicare Centre


Ministry of Health commences inquiry into Ren Ci Hospital and Medicare Centre

Inquiry into Ren Ci Hospital & Medicare Centre
The Ministry of Health (MOH) is conducting an inquiry into Ren Ci Hospital & Medicare Centre (Ren Ci) under Section 8 of the Charities Act.
In July 2006, MOH carried out a general review of corporate governance in its 12 larger Institutions of a Public Character (IPCs), including Ren Ci.
The general review was conducted by MOH-appointed Ernst & Young Associates Pte Ltd (EYA). Completed in Feb 2007, the general review covered areas such as corporate governance structures, internal controls, and compliance with IPC regulations.
The individual IPCs were asked to progressively put in place the recommended improvement measures. One recommendation was for Ren Ci to separate the roles of its Chairman and CEO. Mr Chua Thian Poh, Chairman and CEO of Ho Bee Group, assumed the chairmanship of Ren Ci in September 2007.
As the general review into Ren Ciís past transactions also disclosed other gaps in corporate governance and internal controls, MOH commissioned EYA to carry out a more in-depth evaluation.
The follow-up reviews have since identified some possible irregularities in certain financial transactions involving Ren Ci and certain external organisations. Hence, MOH is commencing an Inquiry into Ren Ci to establish a fuller and better understanding of these irregularities.
MOH is the administrator of the Health Sector under the Charities Act. The Inquiry which is under the Charities Act is expected to take about 3 months. MOH will announce the findings after the Inquiry is completed and will take appropriate measures if there are any breaches.
Lapse of Ren Ciís IPC Status
Ren Ciís IPC status expires on 27 November 2007. In view of the ongoing Inquiry, IPC status will not be renewed for the time being. Donations made by members of the public to Ren Ci after 27 November 2007 will not be tax-deductible. Pending the outcome of the Inquiry, MOH will evaluate when Ren Ci can apply to reinstate its IPC status.
Ren Ciís Services will Continue
MOH will continue to subsidise Ren Ciís patient care services so that patients will continue to receive their medical treatments. We recognize the good work of Ren Ciís staff and we are confident that the Ren Ci Board will ensure that professional standards and services remain intact and the day-to-day operations in Ren Ci carry on undisrupted.

Source: Press Release 7 Nov 2007

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