introduction
board of directors
objectives of courage fund
the courage fund schemes
healthcare humanity awards
bursary awards
financial reporting
frequently asked questions
press releases
personal messages
 
JOINTLY ORGANISED BY
National
Healthcare Group
Singapore Health Services
Singapore Medical Association
Singapore Nurses' Association
 
 
 
Email:
couragefund@nhg.
com.sg
 
 

THE COURAGE FUND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q1 When was The Courage Fund set up?
A1
The Courage Fund was set up at the onset of the SARS crisis, on 11 April 2003.

Q2 What prompted the setting up of The Courage Fund?
A2
 During the SARS crisis, our healthcare workers were making tremendous self-sacrifice as they battled SARS at the frontline. Our healthcare workers held to their posts despite risks to personal safety. It was not the case in other countries. The Courage Fund was thus set up and named in honour of our healthcare workers. The Courage Fund became a national rallying point during the SARS crisis, wherein the public gave generously toward the Fund as a show of sympathy and solidarity. 

Q3 Who set up the Courage Fund?
A3 The Fund was jointly set up by the National Healthcare Group (NHG), Singapore Health Services (SingHealth), Singapore Medical Association (SMA), Singapore Nurses' Association (SNA) and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). President Tony Tan Keng Yam is the Patron-in-Chief of the Fund. 

Q4 What objectives did the Courage Fund hope to achieve?
A4
The Board of Trustees (before conversion to CLG) knew that some donors donated with the intent of helping the people stricken with SARS. Others donated to recognise and support the healthcare workers.

At that time, people were also fearful that SARS was here to stay, or that it could return or mutate into something else. The crisis brought home the important lesson that as a nation, we are very vulnerable to widespread infectious diseases. We must therefore be well prepared to face another outbreak, be it SARS or any other infectious disease (the avian flu that has now emerged as a worldwide health threat is an example).

Therefore, in setting out the objectives of The Courage Fund, the Board of Trustees (before conversion to CLG) wanted to ensure that it included all these donor intentions.

The 3 main objectives set out for The Courage Fund are:

  • To provide relief to SARS victims and healthcare workers and their dependents, and any persons placed under quarantine orders as a result of SARS.
  • To support any charitable purposes for the benefit of healthcare workers, especially in relation to the advancement of education, the protection of health and the relief of poverty, distress and sickness.
  • To support any charitable purposes for the benefit of the general Singapore community who may be affected by widespread infectious diseases.

Q5 How much was collected in total?
A5
 S$32.088 million was raised, comprising an initial S$1 million pledge from the Government, S$15.544 million from the public and the equivalent dollar-for-dollar match from the Government. 

Q6 How much has been spent and how much fund is left?
A6 Out of the total donations of S$32.088 million, S$16.466 million has either been spent or committed to various programmes. The remaining S$15.622 million has been set aside as an endowment fund, which will be used to provide relief in the event of another infectious disease outbreak. Interest income from the endowment fund is used to support the annual Healthcare Humanity Awards. 

For more information on the allocation, disbursement and expenses of the Fund, please refer to Financial Summary.

Q7 Who is in charge of the Fund and who administers the Fund?
A7 The Fund is overseen by a Board of Directors, chaired by Mdm Kay Kuok Oon Kwong (Chairman of NHG), comprising representatives from the various joint organisers. For a full list of the members, please refer to https://www.couragefund.com.sg/trustee.htm The Fund Working Committee, chaired by Prof Chee Yam Cheng (Chief Executive Officer of NHG), comprises management representatives from the various joint organisers. The main secretariat function for the Fund is performed by staff of NHG, SingHealth and SNA on a voluntary basis.

Q8 How much of the Fund is spent on administration? What are these expenses?
A8 A very small percentage (4.34% as at end of FY 2014) was used for administrative and operating expenses. This covered out-of-pocket expenses, and salaries of clerical staff administering the annual Bursary Awards and the Healthcare Humanity Awards. Where other secretariat functions of the Fund are provided by staff of NHG, SingHealth and SNA on a voluntary basis, no cost is charged to the Fund.

Q9 Do the Board of Directors and the Working Committee receive a salary for their role?
A9
 None of the directors are paid for their services to the Fund.

Q10 What are the various schemes formed under the Fund?
A10
 The schemes are:

  • Relief Schemes for SARS victims
  • Education Grants for children of deceased SARS victims
  • Courage Awards
  • Bursary Awards for Nurses and Allied Health Professionals
  • Healthcare Humanity Awards
  • Professorship/Fellowship in Epidemiology and Infectious Disease
  • Courage Fund Infectious Diseases Conference
  • Singapore Immunocompromised Infections Intensive Care Group
  • Capacity Building for Communicable Diseases
For more information on the various schemes, please refer to The Courage Fund schemes http://www.couragefund.com.sg/schemes.htm

Q11 How did the Board of Trustees (before conversion to CLG) decide on the various schemes? Are the schemes according to the objectives of the Fund?
A11
 The Board of Trustees (before conversion to CLG) are guided by the 3 objectives of the Fund in all its decisions regarding the use of funds.

Objective 1
To provide relief to SARS victims and healthcare workers and their dependents, and any persons placed under quarantine orders as a result of SARS.

Under this objective, The Courage Fund disbursed financial aid to SARS victims and healthcare workers through the following schemes:

  1. Relief Schemes for SARS victims; and
  2. Education Grants for children of deceased SARS victims.
Objective 2
To support any charitable purposes for the benefit of healthcare workers, especially in relation to the advancement of education, the protection of health and the relief of poverty, distress and sickness.

Under this objective, The Courage Fund introduced the following schemes:
  1. Bursary Awards scheme for Nurses and Allied Health Professionals (to provide financial support for our healthcare workers who wish to upgrade their skills and knowledge in healthcare)
  2. Healthcare Humanity Awards (to recognise outstanding healthcare workers who are role models in being a caregiver to the sick and the infirmed)
  3. The Courage Fund Infectious Diseases Conference (to bring together experts across healthcare communities, societies and academic schools to build up expertise in Singapore and beyond to be better prepared for the inevitable next outbreak.)
Objective 3
To support any charitable purposes for the benefit of the general Singapore community who may be affected by widespread infectious diseases.

Under this objective, The Courage Fund set up the Professorship/Fellowship in Epidemiology and Infectious Disease, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore to bring in international experts to conduct learning programmes to share and impart knowledge to Singapore's healthcare professionals in the area of epidemiology and infectious diseases.

In 2014, the fund also seeded the Singapore Immunocompromised Infections Intensive Care Group. This initiative provides a platform for cross-disciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration to unite and work towards a common purpose of transforming the model of care for infectious diseases management for the immunocompromised patients. 

Q12 Why do you need to set aside more than S$15 million as reserves?
A12
 The reserve may be drawn down in the event of any widespread infectious disease outbreak, not just for SARS alone - it may be for flu pandemic or it may be yet some other infectious disease. While SARS is over, there is a possibility that it will return or mutate into something else. To date, no effective vaccine has been developed. The SARS episode has demonstrated that as a nation, we are very vulnerable to widespread infectious diseases. Throughout the world now, bird flu cases are on the rise and there is a growing fear of a pandemic. We must therefore be well prepared.

Q13 Did the Board of Trustees (before conversion to CLG) consult donors on the use and allocation of funds?
A13
 At the time of their deliberations, the BOT (before conversion to CLG) had sought inputs from the larger donors on the use of the Fund.

Q14 Why weren't individual donors consulted?
A14
 To seek opinion from the more than 22,000 donors on an individual basis would entail a massive logistics exercise. Moreover, not all donors' identities were known, including anonymous donors and consumers who had contributed by purchasing goods and services from companies that had pledged a portion of their sales revenue to the Fund.

Q15 Should the Courage Fund redirect donations to other more needy charities?
A15
 No, this will be tantamount to breaking faith with the donors who had contributed to the Fund with the stated objectives in mind.

Q16 Can donors have their donations refunded?
A16
 No, the Fund has either been disbursed or committed to various schemes according to its stated objectives. Moreover, some donors had enjoyed tax relief, and it would be difficult to decide on the amount to be returned.

Q17 How many donors had asked for a refund?
A17
 To date, only 2 donors were given refunds. This was in June 2003 before the implementation of the various Courage Fund schemes and the tax deductions. The cheques were returned to the donors.

Q18 What are the future plans of the Fund?
A18
The Courage Fund will continue to administer the schemes which are on a long term basis, namely the Education Grants for children of deceased SARS patients, Bursary Awards for Nurses and Allied Health Workers, Professorship/Fellowship in Epidemiology and Infectious Disease, the Healthcare Humanity Awards and the endowment fund.

The board of directors do not preclude deploying some of the Fund to support meaningful projects that are of merit and in line with the objectives of the Courage Fund.


Q19 What has The Courage Fund done to keep the public aware of its fund usage?
A19
 As with all Institutions of Public Character (IPCs), the Courage Fund has published its annual audit report, income & expenditure statement, on its website at www.couragefund.com.sg. We have also posted on this website a financial summary which is presented in a simple format for easy understanding by the public.

The Fund has also on various occasions provided updates of its schemes and usage of funds through the media. 

Q20 Who can I contact for more information about The Courage Fund?
A20
You may contact The Courage Fund Secretariat at  couragefund@nhg.com.sg

 

 
     
     
   
The Courage Fund
is administered by
The National
Healthcare Group