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SingHealth Tower and Outram Community Hospital officially opened

02:26 Min
The SingHealth Tower and Outram Community Hospital were officially opened on Monday (Jan 24). Sherlyn Seah reports.

SINGAPORE: The SingHealth Tower and Outram Community Hospital were officially opened on Monday (Jan 24).

Located on the campus of Singapore General Hospital (SGH), the SingHealth Tower “plays a central and strategic role for the SGH campus”, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a speech at the opening ceremony on Monday.

The tower houses key facilities, such as the central kitchen and sterile supplies unit, that support the day-to-day running of SGH and other institutions on campus. A logistics hub and administrative staff offices are also located in the 19-storey building. 

“These are the silent workers, always in the background. They are essential to any organisation, any campus,” Mr Ong said. 

"However, in this age of social media and round the clock running of the publicity machinery, we can easily forget their vital contribution, until something goes wrong. I am glad SingHealth has now provided them with a more pleasant and conducive work environment."

The 545-bed Outram Community Hospital (OCH) is located in the SingHealth Tower, which "helps ensure integrated and seamless care across the acute and community hospital on this campus", Mr Ong said. 

"We are deeply thankful that OCH opened in November 2019, just before our nation was struck by COVID-19," he added. 

"As a result, SingHealth could use OCH wards to augment bed capacity whenever there was a surge in COVID-19 cases."

It has also supported the operations of Bright Vision Community Hospital since it was converted to a COVID-19 treatment facility, he said. 

While most COVID-19 patients recover well at home, a "small group" of recovered patients who are elderly and frail with existing medical conditions need rehabilitation and care at community hospitals, Mr Ong noted. 

“Community hospitals have always played an important role in our public healthcare system in helping patients to recover, rehabilitate and reintegrate into the community,” he said. 

OCH is Singapore’s ninth community hospital, and one of three under SingHealth. It offers programmes and activities that are designed to keep elderly patients mentally and physically engaged during their stay.

One such programme that will be rolled out in the OCH will equip patients there with essential skills, such as knowing how to use a smartphone and applications such as WhatsApp or QR code scanning.

“These skills will help the patients connect with their friends and loved ones, and lead a meaningful and active life after discharge,” Mr Ong said.

OCH also offers inpatient hospice palliative care services for those who cannot be cared for at home. 

“The palliative care team offers assistance to alleviate symptoms, and also attends to the patient’s psychosocial needs, enabling them to live out their final days in dignity and with comfort,” Mr Ong said. 

For those who prefer to remain at home, OCH also offers a day hospice service run by HCA Hospice Care. It is the first day hospice to be co-located in a community hospital. 


The SGH Campus master plan was announced in 2016. Since then, the campus has been undergoing major development to improve its facilities and enhance capacity for growing healthcare needs, Mr Ong said.

Phase one of this master plan includes the OCH. Other key developments include the new National Cancer Centre, which is slated to open later this year, and the Emergency Medicine Building, which will open progressively from 2024. 

This will be followed by the new SGH Elective Care Centre and National Dental Centre, scheduled to reopen by 2027. 

The total development budget for Phase One is about S$4 billion, Mr Ong noted.

Phase Two of the master plan will see the development of a new SGH complex and an improved internal road network, Mr Ong said. 

“All these are part of the Government’s continuous investment in public infrastructure, for the benefit of Singaporeans,” Mr Ong said, adding that the entire project is expected to take about 15 years or so to complete.

"Beyond the investment of resources, the entire project requires very meticulous planning and execution," he said.

"For example, services and roads need to be carefully shifted so as not to disrupt operations in one of the busiest and oldest hospitals in Singapore.

"Further, SGH is now 200 years old, and we are taking great efforts to preserve its heritage features and structures, such as the clock tower in Bowyer Block. The College of Medicine and Tan Teck Guan buildings, where my office is, will certainly also be preserved."

Source: CNA/vc(mi)


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