One Minute Interview
CFO, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
1. Most of your career has been in healthcare. Could you tell us a little more
about what it’s like?
A career in healthcare is both interesting and rewarding. You get to learn more about the services rendered by the various healthcare providers and you will
appreciate the importance of good health. A good accountant will facilitate the cost-effective implementation of healthcare services. There is a great empathy
for the sick and needy. There is sometimes a need to source for other financial avenues such as the Medifund and KKH Health Endowment Fund to help them.
2. What value do you believe accountants add to the delivery of health Service?
Technical competency is a given. Accountants can share the financial and economic perspectives on how services and products should be costed and
priced, without compromising patient safety and clinical quality. There are also other opportunities such as hospital’s operations, information systems,
fundraising, business development and risk management; where accountants can value-add. A passionate accountant will assist the hospital to make the financial equations work more cost effectively without compromising patient safety and care.
3. Though you graduated with a degree in accounting from NUS, you still pursued the ACCA Qualification. What prompted you to do this?
From young, I was already impressed with the world-wide recognition that ACCA hallmark bears. Hence, when I graduated from NUS, I was determined to pursue
the ACCA Qualification, which I did within 6 months due to exemptions.
4. What is the one trait which you think has led to your success?
I took my dad’s advice seriously when he told me that in whatever I do, I must take pride in my work, deliver it to my best ability, and when in doubt, always ask.
As an Accountant, the fundamental principle of integrity, humility, courage and passion is of utmost important. In negotiation, I will try to strike a win-win
situation. Teamwork plays a pivotal part in any profession. Thus, I strongly believe that it is key to also recognize and acknowledge the team members’
5. What are some of the biggest work challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?
It is not uncommon to face work challenges. In healthcare, the two most challenging clients, are the doctors and patients. Most doctors will want their latest and most advanced “medical gadgets or equipment” for better clinical outcomes regardless of budget availability whilst patients want affordable healthcare services. As resources are finite, a good accountant will have to strike a balance between the insatiable wants and non-compromising needs for patient safety. Normally, we would help to source for alternative funding and make win-win deals, wherever possible.
6. What has been some of the best career advice you have received?
In my early banking career, my boss shared with me about “6 or 9” perspectives. It is enlightening to put ourselves in another person’s perspective, our current view of “6” may change to “9”. With a new perspective, you will deliver a more holistic solution.
7. And finally, with such a demanding schedule, how do you manage balancing work and family? What advice can you offer fellow members?
I have three children. God has blessed me with a great energetic mum. With her dedication to the grandchildren, I know my children are in safe hands when I am
at work, sometimes for very long hours. It is so true in the Chinese saying 家有一老，如有一宝。
In my early banking career, I found it a challenge to juggle between being a successful financial professional and a good mother at the same time. However,
when I joined the healthcare industry, I was able to have a more balanced work-life. All my bosses have been very understanding. As I have always managed my timeline and tasks well, there is much trust and mutual respect. With technological advancement, I have the flexibility to work from home and on the move.
There is a huge demand for accountants in the healthcare industry. I would certainly encourage more to consider this very interesting and rewarding industry. There are many training opportunities and a wide path for career development and advancement. There are also avenues for accountants to give back to the community as we help needy patients to secure other funding for their medical and non-medical needs through Medifund and the hospital’s endowment fund.