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Singapore

MOH to boost hospital beds for critically ill

The Ministry of Health will increase the number of high dependency (HD) and intensive care (ICU) hospital beds for the critically ill.

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health will increase the number of high dependency (HD) and intensive care (ICU) hospital beds for the critically ill.

Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong said this will be done in tandem with increasing the number of beds in public hospitals overall.

Currently, HD and ICU beds make up 9.4 per cent of hospital beds in service.

The occupancy rate for HD beds up to the third-quarter of 2011 was 60 per cent, while that for ICU was 73 per cent.

Speaking on Tuesday in Parliament, Mr Gan said healthcare institutions are also looking at other ways to increase effective hospital space.

These include reducing the length of hospital stays, converting administrative space into medical facilities and making the discharge process more effective.

"We also have to look at various measures to manage the demand in hospitals," Mr Gan said.

"For example, right siting is very important. We have to make sure that only those who need to be hospitalised will be hospitalised. Patients who can be cared for in community hospitals, in nursing homes or even at home, we should find ways to encourage them [to do so]."

Source: CNA/wk

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