SINGAPORE: Concord International Hospital was ordered to suspend the provision of all healthcare services from Dec 19 after "several significant lapses" affecting patient safety were found, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release on Saturday (Dec 26).
Inspections conducted by the ministry found that the private hospital in Adam Road had “failed to abide by the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics (PHMC) Act in several areas which would have an impact to patient safety”.
Several significant lapses were found during inspections conducted from Dec 14 to 16, said MOH.
“Multiple life-saving/patient use equipment and medications were either not maintained or not available in the critical areas of the hospital such as the intensive care unit and the operating theatre.
“There was also a lack of quality control in the laboratory and infection control processes, which poses significant risks to patient safety and well-being.”
Concord International Hospital has since suspended its healthcare services and MOH is working with it to review the lapses and processes, said the ministry.
As of Dec 19, Concord International Hospital had ongoing outpatient medical appointments with four patients. No patients were warded at the hospital.
“MOH has informed Concord International Hospital to work with their medical team to review the treatment plans and ensure the proper continuity of outpatient care for these four patients, until the hospital has addressed all regulatory lapses and MOH has assessed that the hospital is ready for operations again.”
Those who intend to seek care at the hospital have been advised by the ministry to do so at other licenced healthcare facilities temporarily.
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Concord International Hospital was one of several private hospitals that was roped in to receive well and stable COVID-19 patients in March, so as to ensure sufficient healthcare capacity during the pandemic in Singapore.
In a Facebook post on Dec 23, Concord International Hospital said it had taken on a new management at the end of November, and would relaunch the hospital at the end of January.
“With input from MOH in view of the change of ownership, the management has decided to take the opportunity to renovate the hospital, improve our protocols and introduce new services to better meet patients’ needs moving forward,” it said.
The relaunched hospital will have new specialties and unique treatments with bespoke service and a new name, it added.
MOH reminded all private and public sector healthcare facilities licenced under the PHMC Act - including clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and clinical laboratories - to ensure their full compliance with the Act,
Healthcare facilities that fail to comply with regulatory requirements face fines of up to S$20,000 or the revocation of their licences, or both.
MOH added that healthcare facilities in Singapore will be licensed under the new Healthcare Services Act from the second half of 2021.
“The new Act will further strengthen governance and regulatory conformance across various healthcare services to ensure continued delivery of safe care to patients in an evolving healthcare landscape,” MOH said.