Channel NewsAsia

Delay in opening of Ng Teng Fong General Hospital

Construction delays have pushed back the opening of Ng Teng Fong General Hospital in Jurong, revealed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally.

SINGAPORE: SINGAPORE: The opening of the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital which was slated for December has been pushed back by about six months due to construction delays. This was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his National Day Rally speech on Sunday (Aug 17).

GS Engineering & Construction may be liable to pay liquidated damages of about S$100,000 for each day delayed. It faced challenges from a shortage of skilled construction manpower and problems in the supply of the building's facade materials.

In a written statement, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said he is disappointed that the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital has been delayed and will not be able to open as planned in December this year. He added that the priority now is for the Health Ministry to work with JurongHealth to avoid further delays and ensure that the overall capacity in the public healthcare system is not adversely affected and patient care will not be compromised.

To mitigate the impact of this delay, the Health Ministry will add about 400 acute and community beds by the end of this year.

This will include 200 acute beds in Changi General Hospital, Singapore General Hospital and the National University Hospital. Addtional bed space will come from the new 280-bed Changi General Hospital-St Andrew's Community Hospital Integrated Building that will progressively open from this December to the first half of next year.

Until it moves to the new Ng Teng Fong General Hospital site, JurongHealth will continue to operate the 330-bed Alexandra Hospital to meet acute care needs. The Health Ministry is also collaborating with the private sector to increase bed capacity.

The measures include the collaboration between Changi General Hospital and Parkway East Hospital and Gleaneagles Hospital. The second collaboration is between the National University Hospital and West Point Hospital.

The Health Ministry will continue to work with hospitals to improve processes and facilitate timely discharge for patients without compromising quality care. These include Transitional Care Programmes that help patients to transit smoothly from hospital to their homes. Currently these programmes are available in Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore General Hospital, National University Hospital and Changi General Hospital. 

800 home care places have also been added since January this year and the target is to hit 6,500 places by the end of this year.