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SDG goalsPhoto Courtesy: United Nations

The Singapore Co-operative Movement plays a significant role in delivering healthcare services. This meets one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which strives to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all. One of the ways the co-operative movement has contributed to the provision of healthcare is the creation of healthcare co-operatives such as the NTUC Health Co-operative.

SNCF CEO, Ms Dolly Goh interacting with a senior at NTUC Health nursing home
Ms Dolly Goh, SNCF CEO, interacting with a senior

The NTUC Health provides an integrated suite of services to meet the growing needs of families and their dependents.In addition to dental clinics and a family medicine clinic, NTUC Health Co-operative has one of the most comprehensive range of eldercare services in Singapore. 

These include facilities such as senior day care centres, nursing homes, senior activity and wellness centres, as well as a sheltered/senior group home.

It also runs services such as home care and community support for vulnerable seniors. NTUC Health Co-operative through its outreach programme offers free health and dental checks for vulnerable groups, and public education on healthcare and eldercare issues. Its team of dedicated doctors, dentists and care professionals supports more than 300,000 people in Singapore every month

Another co-operative, The Good Life Co-operative, with its network of doctors who share its vision of evidence-based ethical care, provides personalised health care and health coaching to members. To promote health and wellness on a larger scale, The Good Life Co-operative engages the general public through activities such as public forums to boost their health literacy and educate them about preventive care.

Co-operatives also support members in financing healthcare. For instance, TCC Credit Co-operative, AUPE Credit Co-operative, Singapore Government Staff Credit Co-operative Society and Customs Credit Co-operative Society, offer members hospitalisation benefits. In addition to hospitalisation reimbursement for members, Union of Telecoms Employees of Singapore has a medical assistance scheme for those suffering from chronic conditions. The Citiport Credit Co-operative provides grant for prolonged sickness. NTUC Income Co-operative provides affordable insurance suited to the needs of the elderly, and insurance coverage for the medical expenses (due to accident and infectious diseases) of people with Autism or Down syndrome.

We also have co-operatives like Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative, Silver Caregivers Co-operative, and Runninghour Co-operative offering services that support well-being and in particular, help enrich the lives of the silver generation.

Established in 2012 by seniors for other seniors, Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative promotes active living and learning through customised travel programmes that cater to the needs of the elderly.  It also organises charity overseas trips for those who have never owned a passport, and such trips would be accompanied by members of Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative.

Silver Caregivers Co-operative, on the other hand, aims to better the quality of life of caregivers by offering a range of products and supported education services, and becomes a one-stop centre of information in caregiving roles in Singapore. It champions the cause of caregivers, especially the sandwiched group (i.e. caregivers who are not within the bottom 5% of the economic ladder), by empowering them with relevant holistic skill sets.

Runninghour Co-operative helps people with special needs to stay active, and build confidence through running and other forms of exercises. Its social mission is to promote integration of people with special needs like mildly intellectually challenged, physically challenged and visually challenged through running while ensuring its sustainability with a viable business model. 

In short, co-operatives play an important role in helping Singapore to realise SDG Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being by providing a variety of healthcare services. They too also contribute to other SDGs. Look out for our next issue to find out more.


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Singapore National Co-operative Federation
510 Thomson Road #12-02
SLF Building, Singapore 298135
Email: [email protected]
Tel (65) 6602 0747, Fax (65) 6259 9577

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