SINGAPORE: According to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Singapore, there is a focused drive to strengthen the nation’s healthcare infrastructure.
The MOH reported that 500 new beds have been added to various healthcare facilities with an aim to incorporate a further 800 beds by year’s end.
The Health Minister, Mr Ong Ye Kung, announced the additions at the inauguration of the rehabilitation and recovery wards at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital Integrated Care Hub on 2 October.
The distribution of these additions is as follow:
- 30 beds in acute hospitals
- 90 beds in community hospitals
- Over 350 in nursing homes
- 20 more at Mobile Inpatient Care @ Home
Mr Ong had previously indicated the ministry’s intention to introduce 1,300 beds in 2023 to address the current bed shortage. He likened the expansion to “one-and-a-half regional hospitals.”
“We are on track to open the rest of the additional capacity by the end of this year,” shared Mr Ong.
He also emphasized the need for a parallel increase in manpower and assured that the MOH would oversee infrastructure development and manpower inflow cohesively.
Acknowledging challenges since COVID-19’s outbreak, Mr Ong stated the growing demand for healthcare, largely due to an ageing population.
Earlier in April, the Health Ministry had noted an increase in median waiting times for ward admissions, rising from five hours to 7.2 hours.
Tan Tock Seng Hospital Integrated Care Hub, part of the HealthCity Novena development, plays a pivotal role in healthcare, housing institutions like Dover Park Hospice, Ren Ci Hospital, National Skin Centre, National Neuroscience Institute, and Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine. With a design focus on step-down care services, the hub will have over 600 beds upon full operation.
The ICH aims to bridge services from the Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Ren Ci Community Hospital, ensuring patients experience smooth care transitions.
Highlighting innovations, Mr Ong pointed out the Living Resource Studio in the hub, which prepares patients for daily tasks, promoting their confidence.
Furthermore, Mr Ong discussed the significance of projects like the Eastern Integrated Health Campus and Woodlands Health Campus, which are expected to alleviate pressures on the existing health infrastructure.
Concluding, the Health Minister recognized the strains on polyclinics and hospitals, particularly from an ageing demographic.
He affirmed Singapore’s dedication to increasing healthcare capacity and staffing. Additionally, he shed light on plans emphasizing preventive care to uphold a healthier populace and strengthen the healthcare system in the long run.
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