Eye doc­tor Ho Ching Lin plans char­ity events to pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of the health­care char­ity cul­ture and safe­guard fu­ture gen­er­a­tions by fund­ing re­search眼科医生胡庆麟不仅行医,也策划慈善活动,推动本地医疗慈善文化发展,也投资于医疗研究的未来。


Dr Ho Ching Lin is an oph­thal­mol­o­gist with an eye to­wards car­ing for less for­tu­nate pa­tients. A se­nior con­sul­tant and di­rec­tor of Sin­ga­pore Na­tional Eye Cen­tre’s (SNEC) Glau­coma Depart­ment, she is also SNEC’s head of char­ity and chair of the Li­ons SaveSight Cen­tre’s board of direc­tors.

One of her roles as SNEC’s head of char­ity in­clude helm­ing the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee for the char­ity ball, Eye Ball, held by the SNEC and the Sin­ga­pore Eye Re­search In­sti­tute (SERI). Pro­ceeds from the ball go to­wards the Vi­sion­save cam­paign launched last year.

Health­care char­ity is very im­por­tant is­sue. Said Dr Ho: “The need for health­care ser­vices will in­crease in the fu­ture with Sin­ga­pore’s age­ing pop­u­la­tion. How­ever, health­care ben­e­fits from the gov­ern­ment can­not be in­creased in­finitely. Hence, we need to har­ness more char­ity re­sources to help those in need.”

How­ever, health­care char­ity is in its in­fancy in Sin­ga­pore, un­like in Western coun­tries where ded­i­cated teams at health­care in­sti­tu­tions plan char­ity projects and run day-to-day op­er­a­tions. With­out some­one with charisma and en­ergy at the helm, many ini­tia­tives would prob­a­bly stall.

Dr Ho is an ideal choice to front SNEC’s char­ity en­deav­ours be­cause she is ac­tive on the so­cial scene and has built a strong so­cial net­work and rep­u­ta­tion.

On her ex­pe­ri­ence in or­gan­is­ing char­ity events over the years, she said: “I used to think char­ity is about ask­ing oth­ers for help. But it is re­ally some­thing that opens up more op­por­tu­ni­ties for do­ing good. Ev­ery­one has kind­ness in them but some peo­ple may not know how to put their in­ten­tion into ac­tion. On top of that, there are many ways to do good be­sides just mak­ing mon­e­tary do­na­tions. One can or­gan­ise events, or take part in ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness pro­grammes. There are so many ways to con­trib­ute.”

Dr Ho, who will turn 49 in Au­gust, has worked in pub­lic health­care for many years and treats a wide range of pa­tients, from in­fants to the el­derly, with many of her pa­tients from South-east Asia, while oth­ers come all the way from Europe and the United States.

A spe­cial­ist in treat­ing glau­coma, a con­di­tion that can lead to per­ma­nent blind­ness, she of­ten gets anx­ious pa­tients ask­ing her ques­tions like: “How long more do I have be­fore I go blind? Should I work on my bucket list now?”

As their doc­tor, she aims to help them pro­long their vi­sion for as long as pos­si­ble. When she hears pa­tients say that they are now able to see more clearly and that their qual­ity of life has im­proved, it gives her the the sat­is­fac­tion and mo­ti­va­tion to keep on go­ing no mat­ter how much work she has or how chal­leng­ing her work is.

Work­ing in a pub­lic health­care in­sti­tu­tion suits her, she said. It pro­vides ac­cess to the lat­est med­i­cal tech­niques and tech­nolo­gies as well as the op­por­tu­nity to cul­ti­vate the next gen­er­a­tion of health­care pro­fes­sion­als — she is also ad­junct as­so­ci­ate pro­fes­sor at the Duke-NUS Grad­u­ate Med­i­cal School where she trains aspir­ing oph­thal­mol­o­gists.

Work­ing in pub­lic health­care also of­fers her many av­enues to take part in mean­ing­ful ini­tia­tives to help fi­nan­cially dis­ad­van­taged pa­tients.

Said Dr Ho: “If I were in pri­vate prac­tice, I would have to con­sider the clinic’s bot­tom­line and might not have the re­sources to help pa­tients who are un­able to af­ford med­i­cal care.”

She holds spe­cial­ist qual­i­fi­ca­tions in two ar­eas. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from the Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Sin­ga­pore’s School of Medicine, she com­pleted her res­i­dency as a pae­di­a­tri­cian be­fore mov­ing on to oph­thal­mol­ogy. Only three in 10 physi­cians move on to spe­cial­ist train­ing af­ter com­plet­ing med­i­cal school and those who hold dual spe­cial­ist qual­i­fi­ca­tions are far and few in be­tween.

She has also stud­ied pae­di­atric glau­coma and glau­coma com­pli­ca­tions in adults at Har­vard Med­i­cal School. Her son, an only child, was only eight months old when she trav­elled to Har­vard. To­day, he is 15.

Her ded­i­ca­tion to clin­i­cal work and her pas­sion is clear for all to see, win­ning her praise from many a pa­tient. In May, a reader wrote in to Lianhe Zaobao to thank SNEC’s health­care per­son­nel for their ded­i­cated care, specif­i­cally nam­ing Dr Ho in the let­ter.

Dr Ho packs an im­pres­sive amount of ac­tiv­ity in her day, which be­gins as early as 7am. Lunchtimes and af­ter­noons might be taken up by meet­ings and she knocks off be­tween 6pm and 8pm. If she gets to leave the of­fice early, she has din­ner with her fam­ily, or hits the gym be­fore at­tend­ing so­cial events.

A gym­nast as a child, she now tries to do yoga three times a week be­cause “it re­laxes me and helps me to recharge. It keeps me body lim­ber and gives me strength and stam­ina,” she said.

“The need for health­care ser­vices will in­crease in the fu­ture with Sin­ga­pore’s age­ing pop­u­la­tion. How­ever, health­care ben­e­fits from the gov­ern­ment can­not be in­creased in­finitely. Hence, we need to har­ness more char­ity re­sources to help those in need.”

新 加坡国家眼科中心(SNEC)青光眼服务部高级顾问兼总监胡庆麟医生所治疗的病人,层面非常广,从婴孩到年长者,从普通人到政治人物与社会名流,他们很多来自东南亚国家,也有欧美国家的患者慕名而来,反映SNEC在国际上享有声誉,也彰显胡医生的医术医德受到信赖。

胡医生也是SNEC的慈善总监,以及国际狮子会旗下狮子护眼中心(Li­ons SaveSight Cen­tre)董事会主席。她还是SNEC及新加坡眼科研究院主办的慈善晚宴Eye Bal­l的筹委会主席。去年推出的Vi­sion­save保护视力慈善运动是慈善晚宴筹款支持的重点项目。

















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