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A passion for helping patients

“Hello! How can I help you?”

Patient relations associate executives are usually the first healthcare staff to welcome and assist patients at the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS). You may wonder what fuels their high spirits and what they do in their daily work.  

From airlines to the health line

Patients visiting the National Cancer Centre Singapore’s Ambulatory Treatment are supported by patient relations associate executive Mumtaz Begum (third from left) and the clinic operations team.

Mumtaz Begum Binte Abdul Rahman, sometimes known as ‘Moonstar’ by patients, has been with NCCS since 2016. After 15 years in the airline industry, Mumtaz joined public healthcare in a customer service role in 2013 to work regular office hours for the sake of her young family. 

Wanting a more hands-on role, she joined NCCS in 2016 to work as a patient relations associate executive. Mumtaz was deployed to NCCS’ Ambulatory Treatment Unit, where chemotherapy is administered to patients because of her professional demeanour and prior healthcare experience. 

"The first year was so difficult, I almost gave up," confessed Mumtaz. "There were so many drug names to remember and patients were going through such a hard time, that I felt very stressed out."
But with support from her husband and two children, Mumtaz persevered.

As time passed and her on-the-job knowledge improved, she felt she was making a difference in patients’ experiences at NCCS and decided it was the career for her.

Five days a week, from 7:45am to 5:00pm, Mumtaz greets patients arriving at the Ambulatory Treatment Unit for chemotherapy treatment. Mumtaz checks each patient’s queue ticket to ensure that they have done all the necessary checks and tests before their treatment. She also registers the patient and helps them with queries they have, even if it means referring them to nurses for advice. 

"I always smile, reassure them and ensure they feel cared for so they are not so anxious.”

Sometimes she provides a listening ear. She relates encounters with patients who lacked family support who would share their worries with her. 

“I feel happy to help them in any small way that I can,” shared Mumtaz. “It’s a calling to work in healthcare, help our patients and contribute to society.”

In 2021, Mumtaz was recognised for her service excellence as a finalist of the Superstar Award at the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards. 

Putting patients first

"I don't just like my job, I love my job!" declared Lim Yi Wen Evon.

National Cancer Centre Singapore patient relations associate executive Evon Lim (third from right) and the clinic operations team anticipate and take care of patients’ needs.

Evon joined NCCS in 2016 after working in the F&B and aesthetics service industry for many years. Her outgoing personality and ease with people landed her a role as a patient relations associate executive. Five to six days a week, from 7:30am to 4:30pm, Evon greets patients at the specialist oncology clinic, helps to register them and guides them to take their height and weight before their appointment. 

“Sometimes patients come alone or with family members who aren’t so familiar with how to operate their wheelchairs. In those cases, I help to push their wheelchair and guide them to wherever they need to go in NCCS.”
In addition to providing physical support, Evon makes an effort to remember the names and conditions of patients who she sees regularly. 

“Always put your heart into everything you do, so that patients can feel the care.”

“I like being able to help others especially patient who are going through the tough time,” said Evon. “When I help other, it's a reflection of myself, and I can see that I am becoming a better person."

Making a family

Patient relations associate executives were deployed in 2009 after feedback from patients highlighted a need for additional guidance and support during their visits to NCCS. 

Today, NCCS has eight patient relations associate executives stationed at various locations at NCCS, including the foyer, clinics and Ambulatory Treatment Unit. They help with patients’ care by anticipating their needs and offering warmth and a friendly face during patients’ visits to the Centre.

The energy, enthusiasm and passion of the patient relations associate executives has added a welcome layer of support for patients and further enhanced the vibrant NCCS community.