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High number of patients at hospital emergency departments, most did not require emergency care: MOH

High number of patients at hospital emergency departments, most did not require emergency care: MOH

The accident and emergency (A&E) department at Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore, in a photo posted on Sep 19, 2021. (Photo: Facebook/Tan Tock Seng Hospital)

SINGAPORE: Hospital emergency departments are currently seeing a high number of patients resulting in long queues and waiting times, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Sunday (Feb 6). 

Most of these patients did not require emergency care, said MOH, adding that such unnecessary visits to the emergency department risk compromising the standard of care for other patients who genuinely require emergency medical attention. 

MOH advised the public to seek medical treatment at a hospital’s emergency department only for serious or life-threatening emergencies, such as chest pain, breathlessness and uncontrollable bleeding.

“This allows those with severe illness in need of emergency care to be attended to quickly. It also helps to preserve our hospital capacity for those who truly need acute hospital care,” added the ministry.

The children’s emergency departments at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and National University Hospital have experienced very high attendances over the past two weeks.

MOH said there were on average more than 650 cases per day across both children’s emergency departments this week, up from an average of 450 cases per day in early January.

About 80 per cent of the patients, including those with COVID-19 infections, presented with mild symptoms, did not require hospitalisation, and were discharged after their emergency department visits.

“Amongst paediatric patients who were admitted, most did not stay long in hospital, and were discharged on average within two to three days. The proportion of severe COVID-19 infections and Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) remains low, at less than one out of 1,000 paediatric cases,” said MOH.

“We urge members of the public, including children, to visit their general practitioners or a 24-hour clinic for non-emergencies.”

Should individuals require COVID-19 testing or review for symptoms of acute respiratory infection, they can visit Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPC) for further assessment. More than 700 of such clinics are open after office hours on selected days, said MOH.

There are also six paediatric swab centres which support paediatric swabs for children aged six years and below, of which four are open after office hours on selected days.

They are: Thomson Medical Centre’s 24-hour Family Clinic, Raffles Specialists at Raffles Holland V, Raffles Children's Centre at Tampines One, Raffles Juniors at Waterway Point as well as Thomson Paediatric Centre at JEM and Serangoon Central.

Children aged five years and above can also be swabbed at Urgent Care Centre (Woodlands Health). 

The latest list of general practitioner clinics and their operating hours can be found at the Health Ministry's website, the Agency for Integrated Care’s (AIC) website, the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) webpage and the HealthHub mobile application.


Centre Address Contact Operating hours
Thomson Medical Centre’s (TMC) 24-hour Family Clinic 339 Thomson Road,
Singapore 307677
63508812 24-hours
Raffles Specialists 118 Holland Avenue
Raffles Holland V Level 5
Singapore 278997
62552202 Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Saturday: 9am to 12pm
Closed on Sundays and public holidays
Raffles Children’s Centre 10 Tampines Central 1
Tampines One #04-33
Singapore 529536
67882288 Monday to Friday: 9am to 12pm
Monday, Thursday & Friday: 6.30pm to 8.30 pm
Raffles Juniors 83 Punggol Central
#02-29 Waterway Point
Singapore 828761
63842055 Monday to Saturday: 9am to 12pm
Monday, Wednesday & Friday: 5pm to 8pm
Thursday: 2pm to 8pm
Saturday: 2pm to 5pm
Closed on Sundays and public holidays
Thomson Paediatric Centre (JEM) 50 Jurong Gateway Rd, #04 - 18, Singapore 608549 66651000 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 2.30pm to 4pm
Thomson Paediatric Centre (Serangoon) Blk 253 Serangoon Central Drive #01-235 S550253 62801000 Monday to Wednesday: 2.30pm to 4pm (By appointment only)


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Source: CNA/zl


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