Philips Foundation announces partnership with Singapore Heart Foundation to increase access to heart care in Singapore

Philips Foundation announces partnership with Singapore Heart Foundation to increase access to heart care in Singapore
  • The year-long partnership, involving the funding of cardiac rehabilitation infrastructure, CPR training and Philips AED equipment, and community outreach programs, aims to improve cardiac incident outcomes and improve health inequality.
  • The SHF-Philips Foundation Heart Wellness Centre’s location, in an area with a high number of elderly in the lower-income group, reflects Philips Foundation’s commitment to alleviating health inequality.
  • The project will address the lack of patient participation in rehabilitation programs and adherence to medication, which have been reported to be two of the biggest barriers in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

SINGAPORE, Nov. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Philips Foundation, with its mission to provide access to quality healthcare for disadvantaged communities through innovation, and social service agency Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF) today announced a partnership to improve cardiac incident outcomes in communities by increasing access to quality healthcare. The year-long program to fund the newly-named ‘SHF – Philips Foundation Heart Wellness Centre’ aims to reduce the mortality rate of cardiac incidences by at least 50% (compared to patients who do not participate) and lower an individual’s risk of hospital readmission by 25%.

Image 1: (L to R) Ms Ivy Lai, Country Manager, Philips Singapore, Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District, and Dr Tan Yong Seng, Chairman of Singapore Heart Foundation’s Heart Wellness Centres at the unveiling of the Singapore Heart Foundation-Philips Foundation Heart Wellness Centre, one of only three such public community-based cardiac rehabilitation centres in Singapore. (Photo: Philips Singapore)
Image 1: (L to R) Ms Ivy Lai, Country Manager, Philips Singapore, Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District, and Dr Tan Yong Seng, Chairman of Singapore Heart Foundation’s Heart Wellness Centres at the unveiling of the Singapore Heart Foundation-Philips Foundation Heart Wellness Centre, one of only three such public community-based cardiac rehabilitation centres in Singapore. (Photo: Philips Singapore)

In Singapore, 1 in 3 heart attack patients may experience a recurrent cardiac event[1]. Although cardiac rehabilitation is the foundation of secondary prevention, only 6% to 15% of eligible patients today attend cardiac rehabilitation programs[2]. The SHF – Philips Foundation Heart Wellness Centre, whose rehabilitation programs and operations will be funded by Philips Foundation in the coming year, will tackle this problem and drive higher participation in rehabilitation programs by enabling access in the heart of the community.

The SHF – Philips Foundation Heart Wellness Centre is one of three centres run by SHF that provides highly-subsidised cardiac rehabilitation services. Located at Fortune Centre (190 Middle Road), the SHF – Philips Foundation Heart Wellness Centre is convenient for cardiac patients and at-risk individuals to access the necessary care equipment and healthcare professionals to maintain their heart health. At the centre, individuals will undergo the Heart Wellness Program, a structured Phase 3 and 4 cardiac rehabilitation program, where SHF’s multidisciplinary healthcare professionals will provide guidance in tailored exercise classes, nutrition counselling, and education on sustained lifelong heart-healthy habits – all of which are vital for optimum patient results.

SHF supports approximately 2,500 individuals at its three centres, of which 675 are at Fortune Centre.

Dr Tan Yong Seng, Chairman of Singapore Heart Foundation’s Heart Wellness Centres, said, “Against the backdrop of pandemic-induced social distancing, there is an urgent need to ensure continuity of care in the community. Progress in the cardiovascular disease primary prevention space means that more patients now survive an initial heart attack or stroke, but there is a growing gap in addressing the increase in secondary cardiac event burden. The lack of patient participation in rehabilitation programs is one of the biggest barriers in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease today[3]. Support from Philips Foundation accords Singapore Heart Foundation with the resources required to continue providing affordable and quality support to the patients in need, as well as give our team the capacity to focus on raising awareness on the importance of cardiac rehab, and drive higher participation in our programs.”

The provision of an accessible cardiac rehabilitation program at Fortune Centre is especially important in improving access to care for the elderly demographic, who are often less mobile and more susceptible to secondary cardiac incidences. The funding by Philips Foundation will also help keep cardiac rehab fees low for members to reduce some of the current barriers that limit access to care and help them adhere to their rehabilitation program.

Improving cardiac arrest survival rate

Education and instilling confidence for action are also important aspects of this partnership. The Lancet Public Health[4] found that a series of public health interventions in Singapore cumulatively increased the likelihood of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by bystanders during out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) nearly eightfold, and survival rates over twofold, underscoring the importance of such interventions to improve OHCA outcomes.

“In line with Philips’ commitment to improving lives, this partnership aims to empower patients with access to better care for themselves. Through the heart wellness centre’s education initiatives, the AED roll-out and the CPR training, we want to equip individuals and communities with the knowledge and resources to reduce the mortality rates of cardiac incidences in Singapore,” said Ms Ivy Lai, Country Manager, Philips Singapore. “We are honored to implement this Philips Foundation project in Singapore with Singapore Heart Foundation, which has been instrumental in advancing the nation’s heart health over the past decades.”

As such, this partnership will also see 20 locales in Singapore equipped with automated external defibrillators (Philips HeartStart AEDs) and 500 individuals trained in CPR+AED over one year to build ready and resilient communities that are better equipped to deal with occurrences of cardiac incidents.

“Philips Foundation was founded on the belief that innovation and collaboration can help solve some of the world’s toughest healthcare challenges for underserved communities across the globe, and we believe that this partnership does just that. According to the World Health Organization, at least 400 million people around the world still lack access to essential health services. Through partnerships like these, we aim to make tangible progress in closing this gap,” said Ms Margot Cooijmans, Director, Philips Foundation.

Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District at the unveiling of the newly-named SHF – Philips Foundation Heart Wellness Centre, welcomed this support for building an involved, educated and caring society. She said, “Community access is key to forming healthier societies and alleviating health inequities. I am heartened to see Philips Foundation and Singapore Heart Foundation come together to improve access to care for heart patients via the subsidised cardiac rehabilitation program available at the SHF-Philips Foundation Heart Wellness Centre. Sometimes, all you need is a friend around the corner to encourage individual responsibility and proactive heart care – I believe this is the role this community-based Heart Wellness Centre will play.”

High-res images are available at this link.

For further information, please contact:

Jane Yeo
Head of Brand and Communications
Philips ASEAN Pacific
E-mail: jane.yeo@philips.com

Yannick Eshuijs
Philips Foundation
Tel.: +31 6 1852 6633
E-mail: yannick.eshuijs@philips.com

Omnicom Public Relations Group for Philips
E-mail: philips.corporate@fleishman.com

Chng Kheng Leng
Singapore Heart Foundation
H/P: 8522 2456
Email: chng.kl@heart.org.sg

Natalie Ng
APRW
H/P: 8382 3662
Email: natalie@aprw.asia  

About the Philips Foundation

Philips Foundation is a registered non-profit organization established in 2014 – founded on the belief that technological innovation and collaboration can drive sustainable and systemic change for primary healthcare systems across the globe and help solve some of the world’s toughest access to healthcare challenges. Philips Foundation’s mission is to reduce healthcare inequality by providing access to quality healthcare for underserved communities through innovation. Philips Foundation fulfills its mission by deploying Philips’ expertise in innovative healthcare technology and solutions, by exploring viable and sustainable healthcare delivery models, and by collaborating with key partners around the world. More information on can be found at www.philips-foundation.com 

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2019 sales of EUR 19.5 billion and employs approximately 81,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.

About Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF) 新加坡心脏基金 

Singapore Heart Foundation is a social service agency at the forefront of the battle against heart diseases in Singapore. Since its inception in 1970, the Foundation has grown into a well-established and reputable organisation with local and international links.  

Through strategic lifesaving programs under the three core pillars of prevention, resuscitation and rehabilitation, SHF fulfills its mission to promote heart health, prevent and reduce disability and death due to cardiovascular disease and stroke. In addition, SHF also offers financial assistance to needy heart patients for emergency relief and medical treatment.

For more information, visit www.myheart.org.sg and follow us on social media.  

Facebook: fb.com/heartfoundation
Instagram: instagram.com/singaporeheartfoundation
Twitter: twitter.com/heartSG

[1] https://www.myheart.org.sg/programmes/cardiac-rehabilitation-and-heart-wellness/

[2] The Economist Intelligence Unit: The Cost of Inaction: Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Asia-Pacific 2020

[3] The Economist Intelligence Unit: The Cost of Inaction: Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Asia-Pacific 2020

[4] Duke-NUS Medical School: Bundled interventions improve bystander CPR, increase out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival