2013 National Security Conference
25 October 2013 [Singapore] – Some 550 members of the local business community today convened with representatives of government agencies, business leaders and healthcare experts to discuss pandemic preparedness at the 2013 National Security Conference.
Organised by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and supported by the National Security Coordination Secretariat (NSCS), the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Home Affairs, the conference aims to raise awareness of the continuing seriousness of pandemics threats – 10 years after the outbreak of SARS. The session also provided participants the opportunity to discuss broad strategies on how to strengthen their businesses and workers against such threats.
An interactive video series targeted at employers and employees of the vital role they can playin protecting Singapore from a potential pandemic was also launched today. The video series, “The Viral Effect”, can be accessed online at www.facebook.com/LetsStandTogether.sg over a span of four weeks starting 4 November. It is part of the National Security Coordination Secretariat’s ‘Let’s Stand Together’ public education campaign that aims to enhance community vigilance and social resilience around three key national security issues: Pandemics, Cyber Security and Terrorism.”
In his welcome remarks, Mr Tony Chew, Chairman, Singapore Business Federation reminded participants that it is imperative for businesses to embark on pandemic preparedness if they have not already done so. He urged them to participate in SBF’s programmes and to keep abreast with SBF news, so that their Business Continuity Management (BCM) Programme stays relevant.
“To help companies, SBF has produced a guide on the ‘4-step BCM Approach’ to prepare for Flu Pandemics. This contains a checklist of good business practices in managing pandemics. We are also launching a series of workshops for members, details of which are also listed in the same guide. I urge you to send your staff to these workshops. It will equip them with the skill-sets to better prepare your businesses”, he added.
In his opening address, Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health highlighted the critical roles businesses and individuals can play to better prepare and mitigate the impact of pandemic threats on the community and individual health, in alignment with Government.
Keynote presenter, Professor Richard Coker, Visiting Professor; Head (Infectious Disease Programme), Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine provided insights on the challenges faced by companies during pandemic outbreaks; how these outbreaks affect businesses and best practices to overcome the challenge.
The panel discussion which ensued saw business leaders from various sectors and the Health Ministry sharing their experiences in implementing risk management measures to ensure business continuity during pandemic outbreaks.
An exhibition onsite also gave participants the opportunity to gain more insight on the impact of SARS and how Singaporeans stood strong and braved the pandemic together.