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Singapore

First regional health hub launched to provide 'one-stop healthcare' for SAF soldiers

The Kranji Regional Health Hub is the first of six such hubs to be established across Singapore.

03:10 Min
The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) on Monday (Feb 20) launched the country's first regional health hub to provide "one-stop healthcare" to soldiers in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Jeraldine Yap reports.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) on Monday (Feb 20) launched the country's first regional health hub to provide "one-stop healthcare" to soldiers in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). 

The first of six regional health hubs to be established across Singapore, the Kranji Regional Health Hub (KRHH) at Kranji Camp III will serve soldiers in the SAF camps in the north-western region of the country.

It will support Kranji Camps I, II, III, Mandai Hill Camp, the SAF Detention Barracks, and Stagmont Camp. 

"Through the regionalisation of healthcare, the SAF seeks to bring enhanced and specialised healthcare closer to service personnel," said MINDEF.

Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How officiated the launch on Monday, accompanied by Chief of Army Major-General David Neo as well as senior officers from the SAF and the Defence Science and Technology Agency.

Mr Heng said establishing the regional health hub marks a critical milestone in the SAF's medical transformation journey towards delivering "robust and holistic healthcare" conveniently located in one location. 

"Health has always been very central to the SAF... The KRHH brings together the latest in technology, key processes and management processes, so as to tap into the efficiency of arrangements and at the same time, to leverage technology with the aim of bringing more convenience to the service personnel." 

SPECIALISED HEALTHCARE

In addition to routine primary healthcare and emergency services, the two-storey KRHH will be equipped with enhanced medical, dental, specialist and diagnostic capabilities, said MINDEF.

Compared with existing camp medical centres, the new regional health hub will have an increased patient capacity of 10 consultation rooms. There will also be two resuscitation bays, two treatment rooms and a body cooling unit.

The specialist health services include dental services and satellite psychiatry services. It will also provide X-ray scans, blood investigations, electrocardiography and audiometry.

Telehealth services will be provided to camps in the region, including teleconsultation and telepsychiatric services.

The new regional health hub will also serve as a test bed to pilot new features. These new initiatives, developed with ST Logistics, include the Medical Dispensary System and MEDBOX.

Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How (centre) viewing the automated Medical Dispensary System at the Kranji Regional Health Hub. (Photo: MINDEF)

The Medical Dispensary System is automated and aims to "reduce the probability" of medication error and reduce logistical demands on medical staff, said MINDEF. Its IT system is integrated with SAF's medical records system to provide a "seamless dispensing and resupply workflow".

MEDBOX is a smart locker system located outside the health hub that allows soldiers to collect medication at their own convenience. The collection service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Through this, the likelihood of patient crowding in the KRHH and the risk of infectious diseases transmission is greatly reduced," said MINDEF in a fact sheet.

PANDEMIC READY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY

The new health hub is also designed to be "pandemic-ready", said MINDEF.

This includes new negative-pressure consultation and isolation rooms that are designed with external doors, antimicrobial air-con filters and with a higher ventilation rate to allow the airflow of high-risk areas to be segregated.

Isolation rooms come with video intercom systems. These rooms will cater to staff presenting with potentially infectious conditions and will reduce the risk of cross contamination.

There is also an external dispensary window to allow potentially infectious patients to collect their medication outside of the health hub. Such patients can also use a dedicated external toilet.

The Kranji Regional Health Hub was built to be environmentally friendly, attaining the BCA Green Mark Platinum award in 2022.

The building has solar panels that generate energy for the hub, an energy-efficient chilled water system, and LED lighting to conserve more electricity. 

"The building is also designed to optimise natural daylight through the roof skylight and has incorporated more greenery to create an inviting and comfortable environment for our patients and medics," said MINDEF.

OPTIMISING RESOURCES

Besides offering enhanced medical services, the regional health hubs will help to consolidate healthcare services under one roof. 

This "optimises resources by reducing duplicative processes, streamlining ground operations and improving logistics efficiencies", said MINDEF.

Each hub is organised to cater to the specific needs of the SAF units in the surrounding camps, said MINDEF. 

The hubs aim to provide soldiers with greater accessibility to a wider suite of services and reduce the frequency of trips they have to make for medical consultations.

"In the long run, it enhances patient quality of care and experience," said MINDEF. 

Source: CNA/lk(mi)

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