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Alexandra Hospital's elderly care programme showing results

Over 80 per cent of participants in Alexandra Hospital's SAFE programme did not require emergency services within a month. 

SINGAPORE: A care plan for elderly patients who have gone through the Emergency Department in Alexandra Hospital is seeing results.

The hospital says of the 134 patients, who joined the programme last year, 88 per cent did not require emergency services within a month.

The Sub-acute Ambulatory care for Functionally challenged and/or Elderly (SAFE) programme hopes to provide care for the elderly after their visit to the emergency department by sending healthcare professionals to their homes.

Each care team comprises up to 10 healthcare professionals including the doctor, nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, dietician and a medical social worker.

The programme stretches from one to three months, depending on the patient's condition.

Some case examples include fractures not requiring surgery, and mild infections like the urinary tract infection and pneumonia.

Beneficiaries say cost savings is a key reason for joining the programme.

"If I take a cab from my house to the hospital, it costs about $15 to $20 per trip, so to and fro is about $50,” said Jessica Mak, daughter of a CARE programme beneficiary. “But in this programme, every time the doctor visits, it is about $40."

Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor said that the programme’s priority is to allow patients to be cared for at home.

“One of the benefits (of the programme) is that you can reduce re-admissions to the emergency departments, visits to the emergency departments as well as avoiding hospitalisation,” she said.

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