Govt invests S$1b in 2 new hospitals

The government is investing nearly S$1 billion to build the new Jurong General Hospital (JGH) and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH).

Located along Jurong East Street 21, the project will see the construction of three main buildings.

They include the nine-storey community hospital, subsidised and private towers, and the eight-storey general hospital’s specialist outpatient clinics.

All three buildings will be connected via link bridges.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday morning, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the heavy investment in the project reflects the government’s commitment to raise healthcare standards, especially for the lower income.

The hospitals will be built simultaneously, as a twinned development, which is a first for Singapore.

Mr Khaw said building the community hospital and the general hospital as one project would allow JGH to push integration and coordination to the maximum.

He added that the bridges linking the two hospitals would greatly benefit patients who need to move between the general hospital and the community hospital as their medical conditions evolve.

“Ideally, patients and their families should not get lost while moving from one clinic to another. They should also not have to wait unnecessarily,” Mr Khaw said.

He said doctors on both sides should also be able to co-manage patients as if doctors belonged to one team, sharing medical records and formulating joint treatment plans.

It is also hoped that these efforts would translate into more cost-effective and affordable quality healthcare.

Mr Khaw said he has high expectations of the new JGH being a hassle-free hospital.

He added that the traditional model of healthcare delivery has typically not ensured good coordination between the hospital and the community care providers.

He said patients are sometimes left to navigate between these providers, with unsatisfactory outcomes.

For example, tests may be conducted repeatedly because of information gaps. Medications may also be prescribed by different doctors without knowledge of each other’s medical treatment plan.

“(When) patients feel unwell, all they want is to know quickly what is wrong with them and what we can do to return them to full recovery,” Mr Khaw said.

The challenge, he said, is patients to have a hassle-free experience even after their discharge.

Mr Khaw said patients with underlying chronic conditions would require life-long management in the community, by their GP, nursing home, or community hospital.

So other than GPs, Mr Khaw said the JGH team would have to reach out to non-healthcare community partners like grassroots organisations and employers to help keep the residents as healthy as possible.

Three quarters of JGH’s 700 beds will be in the subsidised Class B2 and C wards.

The wards will also be designed in a way that allows every patient to have a window by his or her bedside.

This, doctors say, will significantly improve ventilation, privacy and comfort for patients.

The design will also lower the chances of cross infections and give more space for hospital staff to conduct procedures and bedside care..

The concept will also be extended to ICU and High dependency wards to promote healing for critically-ill patients.

The development also boasts a mobility and road safety park that will rehabilitate patients from the community hospital.

There will also be a community wellness park, complete with a jogging track, open for use by hospital staff and the community.

JGH is slated for completion in 2014 while JCH in early 2015.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 9 Nov 2010

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