In this spotlight feature, we speak to the passionate Mr Bernie Poh, CEO of Allium Healthcare.
Hi Bernie, please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us about Allium Healthcare.
How long has Allium Healthcare been in the market?
Allium Healthcare is a wholly-owned member of the GK Goh Holdings Group and established in the year 2017. Under the Allium Healthcare brand, our suite of offerings emphasises relationship-based service and a continuum of long-term personalised care that upholds the dignity, respect and well-being of the older adults.
In Singapore, construction is underway for our first nursing home, Allium Care Suite, a 129-bed private nursing home with single and double en-suite rooms located at Venus Drive. We’ve also recently commenced both our home care and day care services, under Allium Home Care and Allium Care Studio brands respectively.
In Australia, Allium Healthcare co-owns Opal Aged Care, with 72residential aged care homes and more than 6,200 bed-spaces across four states.
What does Allium mean?
Allium is a beautiful flower. We chose this purple flower to represent our brand – The vibrancy and elegance of the Allium flower reflects our vision of the ageless spirit and signifies our belief in providing the very finest in personal care.
Our brand logo features a collection of interconnected flowers united in a larger circle of perfect harmony. Each flower links to the next via a single floret in a seamless arrangement conveying the unity, community, and tranquillity that defines the Allium Healthcare experience.
What is unique about Allium Healthcare?
We are bringing personalised and immersive experiences to our customers. Every ageing person is different and has his/her unique lifestyle; our range of care services is specially tailored to those needs and lifestyles.
How do we do that? Firstly, we deploy an evidence-informed care model; person-centred care with emphasis placed on personal autonomy and dignity throughout the journey of ageing. Take for example at our future nursing home Allium Care Suite, we only build en-suite single and double rooms and small households versus large size wards. Our residents get to choose their diets, their daily rituals and get to decorate their space with their favourite furniture.
Secondly, the depth of our programs. We focus on relationship building rather than just caretaking because we believe that care is not just about tending to physical needs but the entire emotional and psychological well-being for both the client and their caregivers.
Finally, we take a consensus approach working closely with the elderly and family members. Each family is unique, and we invest in efforts to achieve a shared family vision of caregiving for our clients.
What is the vision for the Allium Healthcare brand?
Singapore is ageing rapidly. Today, one in seven Singaporeans is aged 65 and above. By 2030, this will become one in four. Beyond the increase in numbers, there will also be an increase in care needs as Singaporeans live longer lives, as well as higher expectations from a wealthier and better-educated generation of seniors. We are making a long-term commitment to play a constructive and progressive role in the evolution of Singapore’s aged-care ecosystem.
We are partnering closely with other service providers, such as primary care clinics, hospitals, dental clinics, as well as regional community care organisations, to optimise holistic and restorative care for its residents. We also work with the communities and agencies around our nursing homes to facilitate active ageing and ageing in place, and to enhance social inclusion and engagement.
Our vision is to Celebrate the ageless spirit of people and a healthier, happier ageing community.
What challenges did you face in building the brand?
As a new brand in the market, we need to build brand awareness and get the market to know us, but more importantly, as we are growing and moving so fast, the immediate challenge for us is to quickly get our new employees to understand our vision and care about it to make an impact. We are using our brand purpose and values to orient our culture efforts, and this will take time.
What keeps you awake at night?
Singapore’s government expenditure on healthcare is accelerating over the years – rising by at least S$3 billion by 2020. This means that more and more healthcare workers are required to support this sector, but there may not be enough qualified talent to meet the demand. Our challenge now is to attract more people to enter this sector and join us to serve the needs of the communities.
What are your plans for growing the Allium Healthcare brand?
Our business is all about creating shared value. Allium Healthcare’s mission is to co-create rewarding aged care experiences with the communities we serve. This means that growing our brand means investing in other facets of aged care where we deliver superior services centred on the needs of the individuals. This not only includes new and innovative products and services but educational talks to empower our communities.
What is coming up in a year or two, we should watch for (e.g. new product lines, new outlets, new markets)?
We have a couple of exciting developments; Allium Care Suite will be ready in early 2019. This is not a standalone project. We plan to build a portfolio of integrated day and home care services and nursing homes in various districts in Singapore, providing residents with a broader range of care options. In the long run, we plan to introduce our philosophy of care and operating model into the region.