Thong Chai Medical Institution in Chinatown


Thong Chai Medical Institution in Chinatown was the first Chinese organization in Singapore that rendered free medical treatment to all. It was built in 1892 keeping in mind the traditional style of southern Chinese architecture. "Thong Chai" means benevolent to all and "chai" is derived from the Chinese word "Ji"meaning to help or relief the people and thus we have the oldest charitable Medical Institution in Singapore run by the Chinese community. The old Thong Chai Medical Institution in Chinatown is located at 50 Eu Tong Sen Street, Singapore 059803.

It got the recognition as a national monument on 6th July 1973 by the Preservation of National Monuments Board. It was set up with the objective of inducing the spirit of providing mutual assistance among the early Chinese settlers.

In 1867 Thong Chai Medical Institution in Chinatown was endowed by Gan Eng Seng, the man with a philanthropic bent of mind and other eminent leaders like Khoo Cheng Tiong and Choo Yoke Lam and it was managed by a Committee constituting the representatives of various clans.

Thong Chai Medical Institution in Chinatown provides free medical services to all irrespective of races. The patients can collect their prescribed medicines at free of charge at designated dispensaries. The institution served as a centre for the distribution of free quinine during the malaria outbreak in 1911.Thong Chai Medical Institution in Chinatown served the Chinese community socially through various public meetings. It was also regarded as the headquarter for the Chinese guilds. Later on Thong Chai Medical Institution in Chinatown was restored at a cost of $ 440,000 and now it has been rented out to an Arts and Crafts dealer.

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