National Kidney Foundation Singapore

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National Kidney Foundation Singapore
Abbreviation NKFS
Formation 1969
Type NPO
Region served Singapore
Chairman Mr Koh Poh Tiong

The National Kidney Foundation Singapore (NKFS) is a Singapore-based voluntary welfare organisation running kidney dialysis and prevention programmes. It is fully supported by charity donations and seeks to extend a helping hand to their impecunious kidney patients by helping with some of the exorbitant costs accrued from kidney dialysis.


NKFS was established in 1969 by Dr Khoo Oon Teik, a nephrologist, and a group of individuals successfully established Singapore's first dialysis unit at the Singapore General Hospital. The late Dr Khoo spearheaded the mission to save the lives of patients who were afflicted by kidney failure. The late Yusof bin Ishak, the first President of Singapore and Patron of the Foundation, officially inaugurated the NKFS in Singapore on 7 April, the World Health Day.


The National Kidney Foundation seeks to provide veritable succour to patients by providing: 1) Affordable(subsidised) care 2) Rehabilitation of patients so as to empower them to lead more enriched lives Also, it seeks to prevent the proliferation of the odious kidney disease in the community such that lesser individuals would be affected.[1]

Current management[edit]

On 15 July 2005, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan named Gerard Ee as the interim chairman and acting CEO of NKFS.

On 20 July 2005, the new board was announced. Gerard Ee remains as Chairman ; the other members of the board are:

On 15 May 2006, NKF introduced its new full-time CEO, Eunice Tay.[2]

On 17 November 2009, NKF reported a deficit of $900,000 mainly due to a dip in donations and investment income. Donations dipped by 26% to $18.5million and investment income dipped by 97% to $80,000 from $3million in the previous fiscal year, with a current reserve of S$270 million.[3]

On 29 October 2012, there was a transition in leadership as NKF's chairman, Gerard Ee steps down as Mr Koh Poh Tiong, who was formerly the CEO of food and beverages company, Fraser and Neave, takes over the reins.[4] He has been a member of the board of directors since May.[4]

Current board of directors (as of 2014)

  • Mr Koh Poh Tiong (Chairman)
  • Mr Edmund Kwok (CEO)
  • Dr Chong Yoke Sin
  • Mr Christopher Chuah
  • Mr Johnny Heng
  • Mr Bennett Neo
  • Mr Ng Boon Yew
  • Mr Philip Tan Yuan Fah
  • Professor Tay Boon Keng
  • Professor Vathsala Anantharaman
  • Miss Su-Yen Wong



In July 2005, a scandal involving the charity broke out following the collapse of a defamation trial which it brought against Susan Long and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). This caused a massive backlash and fallout of donors to the charity, and subsequently resulted in the resignation of Chief Executive Officer T.T Durai and its board of directors.

Allegations surrounding the scandal included the false declarations on how long NKF's reserves could last, its number of patients, installation of a golden tap in Durai's private office suite, his salary, use of company cars and first-class air travel. Former NKF patron Tan Choo Leng, wife of Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, sparked further outrage when she remarked that T.T Durai's pay of "S$600,000 a year is peanuts". [6]

President of the National Council of Social Services, Gerard Ee, has since been appointed as interim chairman of the organisation. A full independent audit on its finances was conducted by KPMG, and a 442-page report released on 19 December 2005 revealed several malpractices by the former NKF board and management. This led to an investigations into the affairs of the charity by the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force. On 17 April 2006, Durai was arrested and charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

Post-scandal changes[edit]

Radical changes were engendered by interim chairman Gerard Ee which curtailed spending costs. Evidently, the myriad of activities that the National Kidney Foundation has organised to help its patients augment the incontrovertible fact that this is the "new" National Kidney Foundation as seen from its logo,found on its website.[7]

Fund Raising Activities[edit]

The National Kidney Foundation organised a carnival with the name of "Lighting Up Lives" on 16 September 2012 at the Marina Barrage,spanning a total of twelve hours from 9am to 9pm.. This is a munificent gesture meant to raise funds for its artificial kidneys for its patients.The carnival managed to raise $400000.[8] [9]

Volunteering Programme[edit]

The "Circle of Hearts" is a volunteering programme set up by the National Kidney Foundation to allow volunteers to bridge the gap in the patients' various psychosocial needs via the various programmes. The motto of the "Circle of Hearts" is "Share your heart,give your time" which beseeches individuals to spend their time to give with the desire to help and love the needy or impecunious kidney patients.[10]

In 2013, the Circle of Hearts focuses on eight different areas: Grains of Hope, Services, Mind Stimulation Activities (MSA), Patient Escort, Befrienders, Enrichment, Community Outreach, and Ad-hoc/ Events.[11]

International Volunteer Day 2012[edit]

The National Kidney Foundation formed the nexus of volunteers as it organised the International Volunteer Day on 2 December 2012 from 930 am to 1230 am with the theme entitled "Count On Me!".It entailed the enshrining and assiduous efforts of volunteers from the past to present. Goodie bags would also be delivered to needy peritoneal dialysis patients at their homes.The activity would go some way in fulfilling its paramount purpose of providing basic necessities for the patients involved.[12]

International Volunteer Day 2013[edit]

In 2013, the NKF International Volunteer Day would be held on 23 November from 2pm to 5pm with the theme entitled "Stand By Me!". It encourages volunteers to continue giving their time to patients and also encourages more members of the public to join the cause in giving Life & Hope. As part of the IVD 2013 'Gift of Warmth' project, a blanket by the volunteers would be given to anemic patients as a symbol of giving love & warmth.

Launch of new application[edit]

The national kidney foundation has recently launched a new application, named "tough choices",free to download at the app store and google play for apple and android phones respectively.It encapsulates the life of a kidney patient that is replete with trials and tribulations.The application is actually a game where the persona,a kidney patient,grapples and ruminates over the complex choices throughout the vicissitudes of her life.The application also seeks to imbibe on users vital facts about kidney disease.[13]

Financial Deficits[edit]

As of 2012,the National Kidney Foundation is currently running a deficit of $5 million which paints a sepulchral picture as it suffers from the pernicious ramifications of the slowdown in economy.[14]


An altruistic Indonesian businessman, Mr Kasmadi Melati recently donated S$1 million to the National Kidney Foundation;a magnificent gesture which is also the largest sum of money the organisation has received from a living donor in 13 years.[15]


External links[edit]