Published: 25 July 2023
Ms Dominique Choy, President HCSA Board of Directors;
Mr Yeo Jih-Shian, Chairman Highpoint Management Committee, and Vice President HCSA Board of Directors;
Mrs Kim Lang Khalil, Chief Executive Officer HCSA;
Mr Damien Ng, Director, Gilead Sciences, Singapore;
Ladies & Gentlemen.
1. I’m very happy to be able to join you today at this very meaningful event aimed at providing a better rehabilitation and reintegration journey for ex-offenders.
2. I am always happy to support initiatives and programmes by HCSA.
3. A few weeks ago, I was here at HCSA Highpoint to support the Everesting for Second Chances event, which resonated well with people.
4. And today, I am here to witness the MOU signing ceremony between HCSA Highpoint, Teen Challenge Halfway House, The Helping Hand Halfway House, Selarang Halfway House, and Pertapis Halfway House.
5. Your work of helping and supporting our ex-offenders is a meaningful and important one.
6. This is an endeavor that the Government cannot do on our own. I appreciate HCSA for coming on board this journey with us.
Progress of HCSA Highpoint “Educate, Test, Treat!” Programme
7. Last year, HCSA launched the “Educate, Test, Treat!” programme, or ETT for short.
8. I attended the event, which was held in this very same room, as the Guest-of-Honour.
9. The ETT programme aims to eliminate the Hepatitis-C virus, or HCV for short, from residents and alumni from the various halfway houses in Singapore, through education, testing, and treatment.
10. The target was to reach out to at least 200 ex-offenders within one year of its launch.
11. Through the collaboration and support from Teen Challenge, Helping Hand, and Selarang Halfway House, HCSA met their target.
12. Enrolment response was very promising, with many ex-offenders coming forward to get tested for HCV.
13. In total, more than 200 ex-offenders from the three halfway houses came forward to get themselves tested for HCV.
14. I’m happy that those who tested positive received follow-up subsidised care at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The subsidised treatment certainly goes a long way.
Phase 2 of the ETT Programme
15. HCSA wants to reach out to more ex-offenders so that more can be tested for HCV.
16. They will now be embarking on phase 2 of the ETT Programme, and collaborating with more halfway houses.
17. HCSA aims to reach out to more than 400 ex-offenders in the second phase.
18. I am confident that HCSA will reach their target.
19. Before I end, I would like to take this opportunity to thank HCSA members, staff and volunteers for developing such a meaningful initiative, and Gilead Sciences for lending your generous support and expertise.
20. I would also like to express my appreciation to Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, for partnering HCSA on this initiative.
21. Lastly, I would like to thank all of you, for coming on this journey together. Your efforts and support go a long way towards supporting and facilitating our ex-offenders’ reintegration into society.
22. Thank you.