In line with the country’s growing demand driven by a rapidly expanding and ageing population, a new public general hospital, the Sengkang General Hospital (SKH), which will be Singapore’s biggest new hospital with a 1,000-bed capacity and is part of the SingHealth group, is set to open its doors to the public this coming August 18 (Saturday), as reported by the Straits Times.
The 400-bed Sengkang Community hospital (SKCH) adjacent to it is set to open 10 days later on Aug. 28, because it takes a while for the patients from the main hospital to require rehabilitation and continuity of care in a community hospital setting.
Sengkang General Hospital will soon open this August 18
Once the SKH is open, the total number of public-sector acute hospital beds will significantly go up from 8,600 at present.
However, according to Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, after the next public general hospital opens in Woodland in 2022, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will have to take a pause in order to better plan for future needs and infrastructural developments.
The public general hospital will start with a 260-bed capacity which will later be increased to 500 in the next six months.
During the SKH Campus Community Health Fair held last Aug. 11 (Saturday) where the opening dates of the SKH was announced, Mr. Gan shared that the government has been developing more healthcare facilities across a variety of sectors to meet the growing demand for such services in the country. There have already been 1,700 acute hospital beds and 1,200 community hospital beds added since 2011, the Health Minster added.
With the opening of the new Sengkang hospitals, there will be an additional 1,400 beds to the current numbers.
Singapore had faced a massive shortage in bed capacity back in 2013-2014 when patients had to be placed along building corridors and in converted car park areas, as public hospitals could no longer keep up with the high occupancy rates. At present, rates sit at 90 per cent.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of SKH, Professor Christopher Cheng, there is an expected surge in the demand for acute hospital beds in the future since the present trend shows increasing admission rates by as much as 5 per cent from 416,663 in 2016 to 436,882 as of last year.