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Woodlands to have new integrated healthcare development

Singapore is set to have a new integrated healthcare development in Woodlands that will be different from the nation's current offerings.

SINGAPORE: Singapore is set to have a new integrated healthcare development in Woodlands that will be different from the nation's current offerings.

It will be opened in phases in about seven years' time, and is tipped to be a one-stop centre for healthcare needs.

The new healthcare facility was announced by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan at a community event on Saturday.

Alexandra Health System (AHS) will drive the project, which will be sited opposite Christ Church Secondary School along Woodlands Drive 17.

AHS, a public healthcare cluster formed to serve the medical needs of residents living in the northern part of Singapore, is currently managing Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Yishun.

Speaking at the event, Mr Khaw said the project must be planned with Singapore's future ageing population in mind.

"I told them, 'please don't rush, take your time to plan, to travel around to countries like Japan or those in Scandinavia that have a lot of elderly folk, to see what are the problems that they encounter, and whether there are good solutions there which we can pick up and try to adapt,” he added.

The new integrated healthcare development will include an acute care general hospital, a community hospital and a nursing home.

It will be built on an area measuring 7.7 hectares, and will be able to accommodate up to 1,800 beds.

Early ideas for the development include plans for seamless connectivity.

The proposed site is easily accessible via major roads like the Seletar Expressway and Bukit Timah Expressway.

It will also have parks, HDB flats, and the upcoming Woodlands South MRT station located nearby.

AHS group CEO Liak Teng Lit said: "There is a lot of opportunity (for connectivity), because there are no nearby buildings immediately adjacent to this site.

“So when we are planning for this facility, we have a lot more... freedom to be able to link everything up together."

Mr Liak stressed that thorough planning will go into the new development, and ideas may be gleaned from other countries in similar positions to Singapore.

He said: "There will be a lot more community care, home care (offered in the development) -- a lot more than what we see here today.

"I think there will also be smaller facilities that are located closer to where people are living, particularly within walking distance."

Mr Liak also said the facility is not a knee-jerk reaction to the recent hospital bed crunch.

He said other healthcare projects in the pipeline, such as the upcoming Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, should ease the current strain on the system. 

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