New Singapore Hospitals:
Khoo Teck Puat (AH @ Yishun / Sembawang / Northern General),
Jurong (Western) General and Woodlands Hospital

Timeline, Concept and Chronology of Changes


Index

Khoo Teck Puat / AH @ Yishun / Northern General / Sembawang Hospital
  • Northern General Hospital complete by 2008  (25 Mar 02)
  • Jurong Hospital scrapped, next new hospital to be in the north   (23 Feb 04)
  • 400-bed hospital for the north in Yishun Central    (23 Mar 04 and 21 Mar 06)
  • Northern General Hospital (Yishun) to open before 2010  (15 Aug 05)
  • Yishun hospital will be speeded up, first phase ready by end 2007   (26 Mar 06)
  • New hospital breaks ground   (Feb 07)
  • New hospital in Yishun named Khoo Teck Puat Hospital   (16 May 07)


    Western / Jurong General Hospital
  • Jurong General Hospital complete by 2006  (25 Mar 02)
  • Jurong General - URA Draft Master Plan 2003 (West Region)  (28 Feb 03)
  • Plans for Jurong Hospital scrapped   (23 Feb 04)
  • New hospital to be built in western part of S'pore soon    (21 May 07)
  • New general hospital 'around 2012' to meet rising demand   (22 May 07)


    Woodlands Hospital
  • General hospital to be built in Woodlands    (26 Mar 06)


    Concepts in Singapore Hospital planning
  • Days of the mega hospitals may be over   (19 Dec 03)


    Questions for discussion Return to Main Medical Index

    Note: This page has been re-organised and subdivided into the different "new" hospitals.
                There has been intentional duplication and repetition as each article may cover more than one hospital.




  • Khoo Teck Puat / AH @ Yishun / Northern / Sembawang / Woodlands General Hospital

    Complete Northern General Hospital by 2008

       The Health, Environment and National Development ministries yesterday unveiled their plans and initiatives for the next few years in their addenda to the President's Address at the Opening of Singapore's 10th Parliament. MPs will meet next week to debate these proposals. KAREN WONG finds out what is in store

    HEALTH

  • Complete Jurong General Hospital by 2006
  • Complete Northern General Hospital by 2008
  • Build new polyclinics in Jurong West and Sengkang and revamp polyclinic in Queenstown, by 2004
  • Build a new rehabilitation centre and a communicable-disease centre on Tan Tock Seng Hospital premises by 2006
  • Increase the proportion of private nursing home beds to 40 per cent by 2010

    Health Minister
    President's Address at the Opening of Singapore's 10th Parliament
    The Straits Times
    27 Mar 02


    Bringing Health Care Facilities Closer to Singaporeans
    THE FIRST SESSION OF THE TENTH PARLIAMENT

       We will develop two new regional general hospitals to provide broad-based general medical care to Singaporeans. Jurong General Hospital, which will replace the current Alexandra Hospital, will be completed by 2006, while Northern General Hospital will be completed by 2008. Community hospitals will be built next to these two hospitals to provide convenient access to step-down care services for elderly Singaporeans.

    Health Minister
    Parliament
    25 Mar 02

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    Jurong Hospital scrapped, next new hospital to be in the north

       PLANS to build Jurong General Hospital in the western part of the island will be scrapped. Instead, the next new public hospital to be built will be in the north.

      The change appeared to be on the cards after Acting Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, on taking office last year, asked for a review of the plans.

      The Straits Times understands that the new hospital will also be smaller. Instead of the 650 beds planned for Jurong, the new hospital is likely to have only 400 to 500 beds.

      The need for a hospital in the north was raised at the last General Election in 2001. The population there is growing and the nearest hospital for its people is Tan Tock Seng. This could be a problem for a person needing emergency treatment during peak hours, when traffic is bumper-to-bumper along the Central Expressway.

      Those living in the west, however, have easy access to the National University Hospital. Hence, the decision to relocate the next public hospital to the north.

      The actual site has yet to be selected, but it is believed that the hospital will most likely be in Woodlands. Staff from Alexandra Hospital, who were slated to take over the $400 million Jurong General Hospital in 2006, will move to the north instead.

      The building of the Jurong hospital has yet to start, because Pioneer Junior College could not vacate the premises slated for it as scheduled.

      The change of plans means a further delay in Singapore getting a new hospital, as a new design is needed for the smaller hospital. Alexandra Hospital will continue accepting patients till then.

      With the fewer beds, the new hospital will focus more on day surgery, with patients going home after surgery without staying for the night. It is a worldwide trend as newer treatments mean shorter or even no hospital stay. Besides lowering costs, patients generally recover faster too. In Singapore, day surgery procedures make up half of all operations, compared to 10 per cent a decade ago.

      Plans for the upcoming hospital also include having step-down care for patients who are not well enough to go home. Facilities such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centres will be provided nearby to give them the care they need at a cheaper place. It also allows them to have quick access to a range of specialist treatments should the need arise.

      There is also talk of having several general practitioners (GP) site their clinics nearby. A closer working relationship between GP clinics and the hospital could mean these doctors may be allowed to use some hospital services, such as X-rays and laboratory tests. Following the Sars outbreak last year, when staff and patients of several hospitals were infected, the layout of the new hospital will incorporate infectious disease control facilities.

    The Straits Times
    23 Feb 04

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    400-bed hospital for the north in Yishun Central

       THE new hospital in the north will be at Yishun Central, next to the polyclinic.

      With 400 beds, it will be about the size of the current Alexandra Hospital, which it will replace when completed in five years' time, by March 28, 2009.

      However, it promises to be a hospital that will offer innovative ways of handling patient care, as the team planning it takes up the challenge from Acting Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

      Mr Khaw, pointing to how the National Library had treated every new library as a test bed for fresh ideas, had called for a hospital that is truly patient-centric. Not surprisingly, Alexandra's chief executive officer Liak Teng Lit, whose team will run the new hospital, is roping in Dr Christopher Chia, the National Library Board's chief executive, as a consultant.

      The new hospital, a campaign promise at the 2001 General Election, will save Yishun residents the long ride to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, which is about 40 minutes away when traffic is heavy.

      To get fresh ideas, the planning team will visit the Toyota factory in Japan next month to look into the concept of 'lean thinking' at the world's third-largest car manufacturer, where anything that does not add value to the customer is discarded. It will also visit Kameda Medical Centre, two hours by train from Tokyo, known for its excellent service and high level of medical care. The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore will help test out ideas at Alexandra before they are implemented at the new hospital.

      Mr Khaw disclosed these details to reporters yesterday after an hour-long meeting with about 250 Alexandra staff - from doctors and nurses to cooks - on the new hospital. He explained why it would have only 400 beds, less than half that of Tan Tock Seng and Changi, the other two regional hospitals. 'It's small enough for staff to know one another... and not so big that they are traumatised by a huge fortress,' said Mr Khaw, drawing on his past experience as chief executive of National University Hospital, which he saw grow from a mere 24 beds. Today, it has more than 900 beds.

      New technology will also lead to more day surgery procedures rather than hospital stays, so demand for beds will be lower.

      Mr Liak later added that anyone who can loiter in hospital corridors would be better treated as outpatients. Those who are hospitalised are likely to be much sicker, so the new hospital will have more beds for intensive care.

      Procedures like gastroscopy, where the stomach is viewed through a fibre-optic tube, should be done at Yishun Polyclinic next door.

      Mr Khaw said Yishun Central was picked because of, among other factors, its central location between the northern areas of Woodlands and Sengkang, proximity to both the MRT and a bus interchange, as well as its having enough land for its future expansion or the building of a community hospital to provide step-down care.

      Yesterday, Mr Khaw and Senior Minister of State (Home Affairs) Ho Peng Kee, who is MP for Nee Soon East and had talked of a new hospital in the north at the last General Election, planted two trees at Alexandra Hospital.

      These trees will be moved to the new hospital in Yishun.

    The Straits Times
    23 Mar 04



    New AH hospital to be built in Yishun
    Ho Peng Kee fulfils an election promise

       ANY opposition candidate eyeing Nee Soon East constituency will have to contend with 15 years of work that Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee had put into the ward.

      'I stand on my track record,' said Associate Professor Ho as he listed the many improvements he had brought to the ward, which was dogged by controversy at the last General Election in 2001. His achievements include a new sports park as well as getting 40 per cent of the flats upgraded.

      Yesterday, he added yet another: a hospital.

      The new Alexandra Hospital to be built in Yishun is a stone's throw from Prof Ho's ward.

      Calling it 'the fulfilment of a promise', he was beaming like a proud new father when the four shortlisted designs were unveiled for people to view until Saturday and give feedback.

      At the last General Election (GE) in 2001, he had vowed to push for it to be built nearer his ward although the Government had announced that it was to be sited in the northern part of Singapore. Now, the 450-bed facility will be in Yishun Central Road which borders Nee Soon East, the largest single-seat constituency with about 32,600 voters.

    The Straits Times
    21 Mar 06

    Northern Yishun General Hospital NGH YGH

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    Northern General Hospital (Yishun) to open before 2010 to help ease patient load at TTSH

       More patients visit Tan Tock Seng Hospital's A&E Department compared to other hospitals. And that's why the building of the Northern General Hospital in Yishun will be brought forward before 2010 to cope with TTSH's high patient load.

      But in the short-term, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan told Parliament that patients will be spread across hospitals island-wide to make full use of all available beds.

      Singapore General Hospital's A&E department used to see 500 patients a day before Changi General Hospital was built. Now, Changi General Hospital deals with 320 patients daily, while SGH treats 310. Similarly, the new Northern General Hospital will help ease Tan Tock Seng Hospital's current overcrowding woes. Last year, TTSH treated 23,000 or 21 percent more patients at its A&E Department than SGH.

      Responding to queries from Hougang MP Low Thia Khiang, Mr Khaw said this is a local, and not a national problem - and Singapore is not short of hospital beds. But he explained the solution is not as easy as merely opening up more beds.

      Mr Khaw said: "Running public hospitals requires trading off - between three objectives which are often contradictory - firstly, keep clinical standards as high as possible, that means employ top brains, doctors and nurses.

      "Secondly, keep costs as low as possible to ensure people can afford healthcare, and thirdly, keeping what I call non-clinical services as best and high as possible - equivalent to five-star hotel and you know all three very different.

      "Any politician who promises you he can deliver all three is a liar, but I feel our job running public hospitals is to balance these three contradictory objectives."

      Mr Khaw said the patient load would be spread across the hospitals - first to relieve overcrowding at TTSH, before turning to another alternative - open up some 150 extra beds in stages.

      More importantly, he said patients should not take up vital bed space - citing the 40 foreign workers hospitalised with chicken-pox at TTSH earlier this year.

      Mr Khaw also tried to look on the brighter side of the problem. "When I was discussing this with the CEO of Tan Tock Seng Hospital in a light-hearted manner, he said our 'fengshui' was very good, the location is best, so all patients flock there," he said.

      Mr Khaw also reassured patients that despite the overcrowding, the standard of medical care at the A&E Department has not been compromised, and no seriously-ill patient will be turned away.

    Channelnewsasia
    15 Aug 05

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    Yishun hospital will be speeded up, first phase ready by end 2007 (Abridged)

       A GENERAL hospital will be built in Woodlands, as the new one coming up in Yishun will not be enough to serve people living in the north, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Sunday.

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      He also revealed that work on the Yishun hospital, targeted for completion in 2009, will be speeded up. Given feedback from residents who want it sooner, it will open in phases and he hoped the first phase would be ready by the end of next year.

      Mr Khaw spoke to reporters after visiting Sembawang GRC, when it was also confirmed that he will move there from Tanjong Pagar GRC at the coming General Election.

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      In the past, most hospitals were built in the south of Singapore because that was where the population was concentrated. But with more people moving north, he said, having just one hospital in Yishun will not be enough.

      At the 2001 General Election, Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, the PAP's candidate for Nee Soon East, had vowed to press for a hospital in the north. A plan to build a new hospital in Jurong was scrapped in favour of Yishun.

      Mr Khaw said work on the Yishun hospital should start before Chinese New Year next year, and he hoped the first 250 beds of the 400- to 500-bed hospital would be ready by the end of next year.

    Abridged
    The Straits Times
    27 Mar 06




    Groundbreaking for Yishun hospital as early as Christmas 06
    First phase of 250 beds could be open before 2009

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      On the Yishun hospital, Mr Khaw said the groundbreaking for that hospital could take place as early as this Christmas, and hinted that a first phase with 250 beds could be opened even before 2009 to meet the request of residents.

      There will be no rush, however, in opening the Yishun hospital. He told reporters: "Generally, we need one hospital every 10 years or so. Actually, I can get it out quickly if I want to. If we just want to build another hospital like Changi, then it's straightforward. But I decided to challenge the team, not to just replicate. Let's learn from every hospital we've built, so that we don't repeat mistakes ... I'm seriously looking at how we can build the hospital in a modular way."

    Abridged
    TodayOnline
    27 Mar 06

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    New hospital breaks ground
    Scheduled to be operational by 2009

       Health Minister Mr. Khaw Boon Wan recently broke ground for the construction of the new Alexandra Hospital (AH) in Yishun, marking a significant step in bringing quality healthcare to the north of Singapore.

      “Traditionally general hospitals have been located in the south of Singapore,” said Khaw. “However, with the increase in the population in the north, a strategic decision was made to build the next general hospital in the north.”

      Currently, residents who live in areas such as Marsiling must drive roughly 45 minutes to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), which is the nearest general hospital for those who live in north.

      Doctors and patients based in the north of Singapore can now look forward to a new 550-bed hospital, covering over 3.4 hectares of land. It will offer state of-the-art facilities and an extensive range of medical services and healthcare options. The hospital will also aid in resolving the bed situation at TTSH.

      The hospital is being designed to be hassle-free for patients and visitors alike. For example, one will not have to walk for more than 10 meters to reach the emergency department, 20 meters to reach the clinics and 50 meters to reach the wards.

      The hospital will also be linked to polyclinics, general practitioners and nursing homes in the area, to facilitate the seamless transfer of patients between primary, secondary and tertiary care providers.

      In addition to this, it is designed to consume 50 percent less energy and is efficient in water usage and indoor environment quality, as well as environmental management. Not only will this environmentally-friendly design benefit the ecosystem, it will also reduce operational costs significantly in the long run.

      The hospital’s working committee has also taken various approaches to engage residents to inculcate in them a sense of ownership towards the hospital. In November 2005, a feedback unit was introduced for members of the public to provide feedback and suggestions for the new hospital. More than 1,500 such contributions were received and more than 48 suggestions have been added to the design considerations.

      The hospital is scheduled to be operational by 2009 – the shortest time for any general hospital to be built in Singapore.

    Key facilities at the Alexandra Hospital

  • 550 beds
  • 19 wards
       - 8 private wards (including one deluxe suite)
       - 10 subsidized wards
       - 1 classless isolation ward
  • 2 intensive care units
  • 90 consultation rooms
  • 8 operating rooms
  • 6 day surgery operation rooms
  • 4 endoscopy suites
  • Other amenities
       - Family friendly restrooms
       - Handicapped-friendly restrooms
       - Retail mall
       - Food court and café

  • Medical Tribune
    Feb 2007
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    New hospital in Yishun named Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

      Instead of 'Alexandra hospital @ Yishun', the new general hospital in Yishun has been named 'Khoo Teck Puat Hospital'. This was announced by Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan at a HIMSS AsiaPac 2007 conference on Wednesday morning.

      The late Khoo Teck Puat was a banker and philanthropist. The Health Minister said when he shared his ideas of a "hassle-free" system at the new hospital, Mr Khoo's family decided to donate S$125 million towards building and funding the hospital. S$100 million will be used to fund part of the construction costs and S$25 million will go into a welfare fund to help needy patients.

      The hospital said parts of the new facility are scheduled to open in early 2010. The initial timeline was delayed by about three months because of the Indonesian sand ban and disruption to granite supplies. This forced contractors to bring in more equipment, cranes and workers to make up for the time lost. The disruption started in the middle of January and ended when the contractors sourced for different suppliers. Fresh supply was received in the middle of March.

      When ready, Mr Khaw said the new hospital would be different from other hospitals as it promises to put patients first and aims to minimise bureaucracy and paperwork. The new Khoo Teck Puat hospital will also be well-linked to clinics and other step-down care providers in the neighbourhood so that patients can be transferred seamlessly.

      He said: "Conceptually, these ideas may seem to be simple, logical requirements as nobody deliberately sets out to build a "hassle-full" hospital. In reality, however, it is a tall order for not only must we get the hardware aspects right, we must put in place the supportive software. "I am glad the hospital development team took up the challenge readily. They are working feverishly and are already trying out new ideas at the existing Alexandra Hospital, with encouraging results."

    Channelnewsasia
    16 May 07

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    Western / Jurong General Hospital

    Complete Jurong General Hospital by 2006

       The Health, Environment and National Development ministries yesterday unveiled their plans and initiatives for the next few years in their addenda to the President's Address at the Opening of Singapore's 10th Parliament. MPs will meet next week to debate these proposals. KAREN WONG finds out what is in store

    HEALTH

  • Complete Jurong General Hospital by 2006
  • Complete Northern General Hospital by 2008
  • Build new polyclinics in Jurong West and Sengkang and revamp polyclinic in Queenstown, by 2004
  • Build a new rehabilitation centre and a communicable-disease centre on Tan Tock Seng Hospital premises by 2006
  • Increase the proportion of private nursing home beds to 40 per cent by 2010

    Health Minister
    President's Address at the Opening of Singapore's 10th Parliament
    The Straits Times
    27 Mar 02


    Bringing Health Care Facilities Closer to Singaporeans
    THE FIRST SESSION OF THE TENTH PARLIAMENT

       We will develop two new regional general hospitals to provide broad-based general medical care to Singaporeans. Jurong General Hospital, which will replace the current Alexandra Hospital, will be completed by 2006, while Northern General Hospital will be completed by 2008. Community hospitals will be built next to these two hospitals to provide convenient access to step-down care services for elderly Singaporeans.

    Health Minister
    Parliament
    25 Mar 02

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    Launch of Draft Master Plan 2003 (West Region)
    Minister of State for National Development

    New Jurong General Hospital

    Residents living in the West will be able to enjoy comprehensive healthcare services when the new Jurong General Hospital, located within walking distance from the Jurong East MRT station, opens in the next few years. Set to replace the existing Alexandra Hospital, the Jurong General Hospital, will have 650 beds for warded patients and 90 specialist clinics for outpatients.

    Jurong General Hospital - URA Draft Master Plan 2003
    28 Feb 03
    Jurong General Hospital JGH Singapore

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    Plans for Jurong Hospital scrapped
    Next new hospital to be in the north

       PLANS to build Jurong General Hospital in the western part of the island will be scrapped. Instead, the next new public hospital to be built will be in the north.

      The change appeared to be on the cards after Acting Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, on taking office last year, asked for a review of the plans.

      The Straits Times understands that the new hospital will also be smaller. Instead of the 650 beds planned for Jurong, the new hospital is likely to have only 400 to 500 beds.

      The need for a hospital in the north was raised at the last General Election in 2001. The population there is growing and the nearest hospital for its people is Tan Tock Seng. This could be a problem for a person needing emergency treatment during peak hours, when traffic is bumper-to-bumper along the Central Expressway.

      Those living in the west, however, have easy access to the National University Hospital. Hence, the decision to relocate the next public hospital to the north.

      The actual site has yet to be selected, but it is believed that the hospital will most likely be in Woodlands. Staff from Alexandra Hospital, who were slated to take over the $400 million Jurong General Hospital in 2006, will move to the north instead.

      The building of the Jurong hospital has yet to start, because Pioneer Junior College could not vacate the premises slated for it as scheduled.

      The change of plans means a further delay in Singapore getting a new hospital, as a new design is needed for the smaller hospital. Alexandra Hospital will continue accepting patients till then.

      With the fewer beds, the new hospital will focus more on day surgery, with patients going home after surgery without staying for the night. It is a worldwide trend as newer treatments mean shorter or even no hospital stay. Besides lowering costs, patients generally recover faster too. In Singapore, day surgery procedures make up half of all operations, compared to 10 per cent a decade ago.

      Plans for the upcoming hospital also include having step-down care for patients who are not well enough to go home. Facilities such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centres will be provided nearby to give them the care they need at a cheaper place. It also allows them to have quick access to a range of specialist treatments should the need arise.

      There is also talk of having several general practitioners (GP) site their clinics nearby. A closer working relationship between GP clinics and the hospital could mean these doctors may be allowed to use some hospital services, such as X-rays and laboratory tests. Following the Sars outbreak last year, when staff and patients of several hospitals were infected, the layout of the new hospital will incorporate infectious disease control facilities.

    The Straits Times
    23 Feb 04


    Parliamentary Debates, Tenth Parliament

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       Fourth example, integrated healthcare services in the West. I have been discussing with Minister Lim Boon Heng on existing healthcare services in Jurong. There are many players - a tertiary hospital in NUH, a community hospital, several nursing homes, and there is a new polyclinic coming up at Jurong West, and, of course, many GPs. So the residents are adequately served for the moment.

       There was a plan to build a new Jurong General Hospital. A site has been reserved. We could proceed with this plan. But I persuaded Minister Lim Boon Heng that it is better to postpone the plan for the time being.

       Let us focus instead on the software of delivering healthcare services to see if we can transform existing services to serve the Jurong residents better through greater use of IT, adoption of innovative ideas that link up the various players in a seamless manner. The idea is to put patients at the centre and with services reorganised around the patients. I think such a patient-centric, software-driven project in Jurong is much more meaningful than simply building another general hospital.


    Khaw Boon Wan
    Acting Minster for Health
    17 Mar 04

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    New hospital to be built in western part of S'pore soon

      Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan has confirmed that a new hospital will be built in the western part of Singapore soon.

      He also said that the new general hospital in Yishun, the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, would be ready in three years.

      Mr Khaw added that public hospitals would be adding some 150 subsidised beds by the end of the year. Since the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Health has added 81 subsidised beds in Tan Tock Seng Hospital and National University Hospital (NUH). Another 67 such beds will be added in NUH and Changi General Hospital in the second half of this year.

      The minister was giving these updates on Monday when he addressed the concerns of two MPs in Parliament, who said there was a shortage of beds in subsidised wards.

      Mr Khaw said, "We are planning ahead. A new general hospital in the west will be built during the next few years. Otherwise, National University Hospital may become as over-crowded as Tan Tock Seng Hospital is today. "Our plan is to keep Alexandra Hospital temporarily for a few years while the new general hospital in the west is being built. The exact timing and location are being studied."

    ChannelNewsAsia
    21 May 2007


    New general hospital 'around 2012' to meet rising demand: Khaw

       THOSE living in the west of Singapore will have their own hospital in the "next few years", announced Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament yesterday.

      This will help accommodate future demand for hospital beds, even as the current situation remains "tight". According to Mr Khaw, some 60 to 100 new hospital beds are required each year as the population ages.

      "Demand for new hospital beds will continue to rise even after the new general hospital is fully opened with 550 beds around 2012," he said, referring to the new Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Yishun currently being built.

      "We are planning ahead. A new general hospital in the west will be built during the next few years. Otherwise, the National University Hospital (NUH) may become as overcrowded as Tan Tock Seng Hospital is today," he said.

      Mr Khaw has been prepared for more demand, having previously mentioned that a plot of land in Woodlands had been put on standby for a possible hospital should demand increase in the north.

      To tackle the current bed crunch, his Ministry will add a total of 67 new beds to NUH and Changi General Hospital (CGH) "in the next few months". Already, 81 beds — all in the subsidised wards — were added to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and NUH at the start of the year.

      Last week, Today reported that some hospitals were facing a surge in occupancy, hovering at a 88-to-97-per-cent occupancy rate recently — a problem compounded by seasonal diseases such as the flu and dengue. Said Mr Khaw: "While we try to match supply and demand perfectly, it is a challenge given the long lead time in setting up new hospitals."

      He noted that the solution was not merely adding new beds to public hospitals, which typically keep occupancy rates high to keep operations more cost effective. Instead, he asked patients to consider day surgery where possible. Patients also need to be "cooperative" and be more open to being discharged to a community hospital or step-down care facility when they are fit to do so.

    Sheralyn Tay
    Today
    22 May 2007

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    Woodlands General Hospital

    General hospital to be built in Woodlands

       A GENERAL hospital will be built in Woodlands, as the new one coming up in Yishun will not be enough to serve people living in the north, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Sunday.

      A site along Woodlands Avenue 1 has been set aside for a hospital with between 300 and 500 beds, offering all the specialties found at other regional hospitals such as Changi General Hospital.

      He also revealed that work on the Yishun hospital, targeted for completion in 2009, will be speeded up. Given feedback from residents who want it sooner, it will open in phases and he hoped the first phase would be ready by the end of next year.

      Mr Khaw spoke to reporters after visiting Sembawang GRC, when it was also confirmed that he will move there from Tanjong Pagar GRC at the coming General Election.

      The minister told reporters that while the new Woodlands hospital would be in Sembawang GRC, it was no election sweetener.

      'I don't believe in carrots,' he said. 'I believe in the health minister doing what is right. 'If there is a need for a hospital, we will build one. And if there is a need to locate it in spot A, we will build it in spot A.'

      The hospital will not be needed until the next decade, but its site has been reserved. 'Since we have found this very good site in Avenue 1, I'm quickly making a stake there, before it is lost,' he said.

      In the past, most hospitals were built in the south of Singapore because that was where the population was concentrated. But with more people moving north, he said, having just one hospital in Yishun will not be enough.

      At the 2001 General Election, Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, the PAP's candidate for Nee Soon East, had vowed to press for a hospital in the north. A plan to build a new hospital in Jurong was scrapped in favour of Yishun.

      Mr Khaw said work on the Yishun hospital should start before Chinese New Year next year, and he hoped the first 250 beds of the 400- to 500-bed hospital would be ready by the end of next year.

    Abridged
    The Straits Times
    27 Mar 06

    Woodlands General Hospital Northern WGH Singapore



    New hospital in Woodlands
    Set to open within 10 years after Yishun General Hospital, it will boast 500 beds

      THE northern part of Singapore, already anticipating a new hospital in Yishun, will get another general hospital — this time in Woodlands.

      The new hospital, which could have up to 500 beds, is likely to be completed within 10 years after the $400-million Yishun General Hospital opens in Yishun Central by 2009, said Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday.

      The Ministry of Health is already eyeing a tentative plot of vacant land along Woodlands Avenue 1 for Singapore's eighth public hospital.

      Explaining why the North is getting two hospitals, Mr Khaw said that it would gradually become more populated in time, and having just one hospital in the area would not be sufficient to meet demands, especially keeping in mind Singapore's ageing population.

      On the Yishun hospital, Mr Khaw said the groundbreaking for that hospital could take place as early as this Christmas, and hinted that a first phase with 250 beds could be opened even before 2009 to meet the request of residents.

      There will be no rush, however, in opening the Yishun hospital. He told reporters: "Generally, we need one hospital every 10 years or so. Actually, I can get it out quickly if I want to. If we just want to build another hospital like Changi, then it's straightforward. But I decided to challenge the team, not to just replicate. Let's learn from every hospital we've built, so that we don't repeat mistakes ... I'm seriously looking at how we can build the hospital in a modular way."

    TodayOnline
    27 Mar 06

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    MOH policy and concepts for new Singapore hospitals

    Days of the mega hospitals may be over

       Singapore's future general hospitals are likely to have fewer beds but with more space devoted to better infection control

      BIG may be out for any future general hospital to be built here.

      It is likely to have 400 to 600 beds, as Alexandra Hospital does, instead of more than 1,000, like Tan Tock Seng Hospital. But fewer beds may not mean a smaller building. After the lessons learnt from the Sars episode, more space would be set aside for better infection control, with separate waiting areas and air supply systems. Increasingly, treatment would be taken to patients in the wards rather than having them wheeled to different rooms for X-rays and tests. The hospital would also be greener - both botanically and environmentally.

      These were some of the ideas suggested by the speakers at a three-day conference on planning and designing hospital facilities, which was attended by 300 architects, hospital administrators and medical professionals from 16 countries. The conference ended yesterday.

      Some of the ideas may find their way into plans now under review by the health authorities for the 650-bed Jurong General Hospital and for another in the north, either in Woodlands or Bukit Panjang.

      Fewer beds would suffice, said Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, the Ministry of Health's director of medical services, because the number of day operations in public hospitals has risen by 180 per cent in the last 10 years. And they make up more than half of all the operations today, compared with less than 10 per cent a decade ago. General hospitals are also expected to send more people to community hospitals and nursing homes to recuperate, which would free up more beds, he said.

      Some of the extra space, however, will have to be used to add facilities in the emergency department and specialist outpatient clinics. But it may not always be necessary to build new rooms, said Mr John Ting, president of the Singapore Institute of Architects. The hospital could be designed so that the same space could be converted easily to be used for different purposes. For example, it could have certain wards equipped with a separate air supply system and windows that could be opened to allow good cross-ventilation. These could be converted into isolation rooms if the need arose.

      In future, it might even be possible to have universal rooms - rooms from which patients would not have to be transferred regardless of the severity of their condition, said Dr Ruzica BozovicStamenovic, assistant professor at the National University of Singapore's department of architecture. She said: 'The patients will not have to be moved, say, from intensive care to a normal ward, but the equipment needed would be brought to them instead.' She added that the trend of making hospitals look less clinical would become more important, especially the creation of a 'healing environment' with more plants and natural elements.

      Given the lack of space in land-scarce Singapore, gardens are likely to move indoors, into naturally ventilated lobbies and onto rooftops, said hospital architect Robin Wong, a senior consultant with CPG Consultants. This would also cut down air-conditioning costs and contribute to making the building energy-efficient - another important design trend. There might be concerns that energy-efficient technology is costly to install, but the chief executive officer of Alexandra Hospital, Mr Liak Teng Lit, said: 'At the end of the day, it's the operational efficiency which matters more than the capital costs, which make up less than 10 per cent of the total operational costs. There's no point being penny wise and pound foolish.'

    The Straits Times
    19 Dec 03

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    Questions for discussion

    1. For each of the hospitals, summarise the timeline involved in their planning and construction, as well as any major changes in concept.
    2. State the Health Minister's opinion regarding conflicting priorities in running a hospital.
    3. Name examples of services that are better provided at [a]general hospitals [b]outpatient clinics [c]community(rehab) hospitals
    4. Are there differences between large and small hospitals? General and specialised(tertiary) hospitals?
    5. What factors affect the siting of a hospital?
    6. Compare the distances between Singapore hospitals and population centres (aka HDB towns), with those overseas.
    7. What are the costs involved in setting up a hospital? Running it?
      How do these compare to other public works (e.g. CTE, Esplanade)?
    8. How are hospitals similar to other government organisations and companies (e.g. National Library, Car Factories)?
    9. What alternatives are available to building more hospitals?
          Email your answers here.

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    Related Links

  • Forum - Ho Peng Kee 2001 GE Promise - Sembawang General Hospital (youngpap.org)
  • Forum - Ho Peng Kee 2001 GE Promise - Sembawang General Hospital (findsingapore.net)




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