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Hospitals still under stress due to large number of non-COVID related A&E admissions: Ong Ye Kung

Hospitals still under stress due to large number of non-COVID related A&E admissions: Ong Ye Kung

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: Hospitals in Singapore are still “very busy and under stress” due to a large number of non-COVID related accident and emergency department (A&E) admissions, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Friday (Mar 18) 

In a Facebook post, Mr Ong wrote: “These are mostly patients with chronic diseases which have worsened over the last two years, as the healthcare system was so pre-occupied with fighting COVID-19.”

He noted that out of every 100 A&E patients admitted into hospital, between 90 to 95 per cent were admitted for acute medical emergencies or for worsening of chronic medical conditions. 

Mr Ong also said that many of these patients are admitted to hospitals with COVID-19, and not because of COVID-19.

“Of these, around 20 per cent had an incidental COVID-19 diagnosis. The remaining 5 per cent were admitted for COVID-specific treatments,” he said.

In his post, he also gave an update on the COVID-19 situation in Singapore. 

“Based on daily case counts, the Omicron wave has clearly peaked, is subsiding, and picking up pace. The week-on-week case ratio is now almost 0.7. It was over 0.9 just a few days ago,” he said. 

The number of patients hospitalised due to COVID-19 is also decreasing gradually, he added. 

As of noon on Thursday, there were 1,230 patients in hospital. On Mar 1, the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalised was 1,726. 

A graph depicting the number of COVID-19 cases and the number of people attending A&E departments at public healthcare institutions.

Mr Ong also attached two salient graphs depicting the number of COVID-19 cases and the public healthcare institutions' emergency department attendees. 

He stated that week-on-week changes in daily cases, and A&E hospital admissions, are two numbers that are watched closely when planning next set of easing measures.

He also hoped that the situation will ease in the coming days. 

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Source: CNA/yb(rw)

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