As one of the six
aims to raise
the standards of
communities in the
Scholar Chiu Wai
Leong tells us how
he hopes to help
keep the community
active and well.
Singapore's Healthcare Scholarships empower compassionate individuals to take huge strides
toward improving themselves and the health of others. These are administered by MOH Holdings
(MOHH) on behalf of the Singapore Public Healthcare Sector, and Healthcare Scholars serve
meaningfully in one of Singapore’s six public healthcare clusters after graduating from university.
One such cluster is JurongHealth, which facilitates the integration of healthcare services and care
processes in Singapore’s west region. By 2015, JurongHealth’s new integrated healthcare hub in Jurong
East, with the 700-bed Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and 400-bed Jurong Community Hospital, will be
To accompany this expansion of healthcare services, JurongHealth’s healthcare professions are
constantly given essential training and support to push Singapore’s healthcare system to the next level.
One such recipient is Healthcare Scholar Chiu Wai Leong, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor of
Science in Physiotherapy in Singapore Institute of Technology-Trinity College Dublin. With his Physiotherapy
diploma, the Degree Conversion Healthcare Scholarship allows him to complete his university education in
a single year.
What Sparked Your Interest To Become A Physiotherapist?
Chiu Wai Leong: I remember watching the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008 and was amazed at how dexterous physiotherapists appeared to be as they attended to athletes' injuries with fast hands and
efficiency. I found myself very much drawn to the prospect of being able to provide 'healing hands' to people who need them!
Chiu Wai Leong
(Degree Conversion Healthcare Scholarship)
Bachelor of Science (Physiotherapy),
Singapore Institute of
Technology-Trinity College Dublin
My interest was further intensified during my clinical attachment as a Nanyang Polytechnic student. I
remember assisting an elderly gentleman to walk after he had suffered a stroke. Although his progress was
slow, his wife came to me after a few sessions and thanked me profusely for the little improvements he
showed and that mattered so much to them. The awareness that physiotherapists can make a difference in
patients' lives certainly left an impact on me.
What Opportunities Has The Healthcare Scholarship Given You To Prepare
You For Your Future Career?
Wai Leong: The scholarship gave me the chance to attend health policy seminars to observe how the
nation’s future health policies are being formulated. In addition, I also attended a service development
course that sharpened my organisational skills and allowed me to keep in touch with my compassionate
side through my involvement in local community projects.
Throughout my scholarship journey, I’ve also had opportunities to network with professionals from the
Ministry of Health, my sponsors from JurongHealth, my future physiotherapy colleagues and other Nursing
and Allied Health students, and all these sessions have helped me better understand how all Allied Health Professionals can cooperate to achieve positive
Furthermore, I had the chance to participate
in an overseas exchange programme in Dublin
which exposed me to an entirely different culture.
Through my experience and constant interaction
with the Irish, I learnt how to overcome many
cultural barriers and become more adaptable and
Share Some Of Your Thoughts
On The Healthcare Industry In
Wai Leong: The healthcare industry is
constantly growing and evolving. It is working
towards achieving wider healthcare coverage to
ensure the greying population has better access to
Now that Singaporeans are more
educated and tech-savvy, they are
better aware of how to take responsibility for
their health and well-being. With greater access
to healthcare and education, Singaporeans will
be able to reshape their perspective of healthcare
– that is, instead of depending solely on curative
care, Singaporeans are now taking measures to
receive preventative care, and this will definitely
have a positive impact on the long-term outlook of
Singapore’s public health.
Tell Us More About Your
Future Career Aspirations As A
Wai Leong: I aspire to become a patient-centric
physiotherapist. Physiotherapists diagnose and
treat individuals of all ages who suffer from a wide
range of health-related conditions or injuries that
limit their mobility. Being able to communicate with
patients and understanding their conditions is key
to being a good physiotherapist.
"The awareness that physiotherapists can make a difference in
patients' lives certainly left an impact on me."
I would also like to take on primary and
preventative health projects that support
Singapore’s ageing population and combat the
effects of prevalent chronic diseases. I want to
apply my knowledge to realise JurongHealth’s
vision of 'Transforming Care. Bringing Health to
Every Home' and undertake its mission of ensuring
the community stays well.
What Advice Would You Give
Aspiring Healthcare Scholars?
Wai Leong: When providing care, healthcare
professionals must not forget that patients may
not be solely seeking medical care. Patients often
seek overall healthcare, which also incorporates
mental and social aspects. One of my professors
once told me, “We are health professionals and not
illness professionals.” It is essential for healthcare
professionals to work with their multi-disciplinary
team to provide holistic care for and educate
patients, who can then modify their lifestyle
behaviours and take preventative measures to
improve their lives.
I also believe that a healthcare professional is
a reassuring figure who lends a helping hand to
those who are in need. This line of work requires
a great deal of personal commitment but it is
nonetheless fulfilling. If you are interested in joining
the healthcare sector, the Healthcare Scholarship
will definitely provide you with the resources you
need to develop your potential during and after