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Buddhist Free Clinic turns 39

By Tania Tan, The Straits Times, Nov 10, 2008

Singapore -- TUCKED away in the red light district of Geylang is a building that seems almost out of place amid the vice of Singapore's most notorious quarter.

<< The clinic provides consultations and traditional Chinese remedies for a token $1. Those over 60, who make up over half of the clinic's patients, do not have to pay a cent. -- ZAOBAO 

But the Singapore Buddhist Free Clinic has been a pillar of the community for almost four decades, offering free medical care for the elderly and poor of all races and religions.

On Sunday, the clinic, which treats over 700 patients a day, celebrated its 39th anniversary.

During a ceremony, Minister for Community, Youth Development and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan lauded the clinic for its 'invaluable service to the community'.

The clinic provides consultations and traditional Chinese remedies for a token $1. Those over 60, who make up over half of the clinic's patients, do not have to pay a cent.

Fees are kept low by donations from members of the non-profit organisation and the general public, said chief administrative secretary Venerable Sik Nung Toh.

With the country in a recession, she expressed concern that donations might take a beating. 'Our biggest challenge now is maintaining our service to our patients,' she said in Mandarin.



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