Singapore experienced an extraordinary period during March to May 2003.
Our nation was threatened by the unknown and deadly Severe Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus.
Many fell victim to the virus and precious lives were lost.
Our healthcare workers were at the frontline tending to SARS patients and fought against the SARS virus to protect the nation.
They held the fort with unflinching dedication and courage, at the risk of their own lives.
Their dedication, selflessness and courage in fulfilling their duty brought honour to the healthcare profession and were a source of inspiration to the human spirit.
Amidst the uncertainty and difficult time, The Courage Fund was
set up on 11 April 2003 as a fund-raising effort to provide relief to SARS
victims and healthcare workers. It was jointly organized by the National
Healthcare Group (NHG), Singapore Health Services (SingHealth), Singapore
Medical Association (SMA), Singapore Nurses' Association (SNA) and Singapore
Press Holdings (SPH). The Fund was named in honour of our healthcare workers,
especially those who had fallen or suffered in the battle against SARS.
The Fund drew an overwhelming outpour of support from the public. From the man
in the street to government leaders, from young children to talented artistes,
from small shopkeepers to big multinational corporations, from Singaporeans
overseas to expatriate communities in Singapore, everyone united together to
cheer our brave heroes in the healthcare. The Fund galvanized the entire nation
and united all in steadfastness in the face of adversity.
The Courage Fund exists till today as a continuing tribute to healthcare
President Tony Tan Keng Yam is the Patron-in-Chief of the Fund. The Fund has a Board of
Directors chaired by Mdm Kay Kuok Oon Kwong (Chairman of NHG) and comprises representatives from the various joint organisers.
The Fund Working Committee, chaired by Prof Philip Choo Wee Jin (Group Chief Executive Officer of NHG),
comprises management representatives from National Healthcare Group.