At NKF, we adhere to the 5 Es of holistic rehabilitation (Education, Encouragement, Employment, Exercise and Evaluation) to prolong and enhance patients’ quality of life. Listed below are some of the services and programmes we offer, including customised exercises, occupational therapy, promoting employment and self management education as well:

MEDICAL WELFARE

Subsidised Chest X-Ray Screenings

It is very critical that patients undergo an X-ray screening once every two years to help detect any onset of cardiac condition for early intervention. NKF offers patients chest X-ray screenings at minimal or no charge with the cost heavily subsidised by SATA CommHealth.

“NKF offers patients chest X-ray screenings at minimal or no charge”

Eye and Foot Screenings

Vision problems such as diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina), cataracts and glaucoma are amongst the common complications of diabetes. Early detection of damage is vital in attaining best prognosis and prevention of further damage or vision loss. Diabetics are also at high risk of developing foot ulcers resulting in peripheral vascular disease and diabetic neuropathy which could lead to gangrene and amputation. NKF collaborates with the Diabetic Society of Singapore (DSS) to provide subsidised eye and foot screenings to patients. For convenience, mobile service by DSS at the dialysis centres is provided.

Home Glucose Monitoring Kits

Diabetic patients require good blood sugar control, even after starting dialysis, to reduce and slow down further complications. Regular monitoring of blood glucose is necessary but cost is a major factor for non-compliance of this. Thus, NKF provides free blood glucose monitoring kits to patients who are more aware of their diabetic control status and are taking proactive measures for better diabetic control.

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Free Dental Services

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About half of NKF’s patients aged 60 and above suffer some degree of malnutrition due to insufficient protein intake. Due to dental problems such as lack of teeth, which hamper chewing, patients are unable to enjoy their food and lose their appetite, eventually becoming malnourished. Free dental services comprising comprehensive consultations, fillings, extractions, scaling and denture-making are provided by Tzu Chi Free Health Screening & Medical Clinic.

Customised Exercises

The Exercise & Fitness department designs and implements exercise programmes. Our goal is largely to reverse the adverse effects of de-conditioning due to sedentary lifestyle and prevent premature disability because of aging and disease. We have inculcated an exercise-friendly environment by creating multiple exercise opportunities for patients to exercise. This in turn reduces patients’ risk of coronary artery disease and hypertensive cardiovascular events. We are committed to contribute positively to the improved medical management, comprehensive health, and quality of life of each patient.

“Patients who are medically cleared by doctors will be given a customised exercise programme.”

Occupational Therapy

Renal patients with diabetes may have visual disabilities. Patients with mobility issues may require assistance in their Activities of Daily Living and fall prevention. Hence, occupational therapy helps NKF patients develop and maintain their functional and cognitive capacity, to perform day-to-day tasks and roles essential to their lives, including self-care, daily living, leisure and work.

Social Welfare

Basic Food Necessities

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NKF provides basic food provisions to our needy patients’ families, as well as emotional and mental support during their home visits.

Transport Subsidies

“ Needy patients such as amputees, who require special transportation, receive subsidies for taxi and ambulance expenses for their thrice weekly dialysis sessions.”

Under NKF’s Patient Welfare and Benefit Programme, needy patients such as amputees, who require special transportation to and from dialysis centres but cannot afford the additional costs, receive subsidies for taxi and ambulance expenses for their thrice weekly dialysis sessions. As for other needy patients, they receive $30 a month to top up their EZ-Link cards for their bus and train expenses to and from dialysis centres.

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Psychosocial Support

Admissions Counselling

Kidney patients may often experience different intensities of anxiety and a loss of direction. Their family members may also face difficulties in adjusting to the issues such as understanding and managing dialysis, compromising quality of life and care-giving.

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The Admissions Counsellors provide support and guidance to ensure patients have a smooth transition from private dialysis centres into NKF. Admissions Counsellors also identify patients who may require specialised assistance and refer them to the respective parties such as Medical Social Worker, Dietitian, Restructured Hospital and Community Assistance, should they require further intervention.

Case Management and Welfare Assistance

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Many of our patients have diverse needs in addition to medical treatment.

This is because many patients are poor and needy and often have to deal with multiple agencies to manage their own lives Our Medical Social Workers manage these cases in collaboration with external agencies like Family Service Centres, Social Service Offices and other Voluntary Welfare Organisations to ensure the diverse needs of our patients are well met.

Family Support and Advanced Care Plan

Many patients experience isolation and a sense of loss of control over their lives, relationships and physical bodies. They need family support. However, their families also experience a sense of loss and helplessness seeing their own family members suffering. 

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Our Medical Social Workers manage these cases in collaboration with external agencies like Family Service Centres, Social Service Offices and other Voluntary Welfare Organisations to ensure the diverse needs of our patients are well met.

Patient Advocacy

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Patient Advocates provide support to their peers in both the haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis programmes. Advocates are trained to become patient counsellors who encourage and coach new patients at dialysis centres through the ‘Buddy System’. These advocates also volunteer their services in NKF’s Community Outreach Programme to give back to the society. They also visit newly diagnosed patients at hospitals to share their dialysis experiences and provide support to pre-dialysis patients. Monthly patient gatherings are held to enrich patients’ lives through bonding and sharing.