Hospitals out of bed, again

It is a field day at the local hospitals. Most of them have ran out of bed to house incoming patients, with patients in Changi General Hospital waiting for more than 24 hours for a bed.

The hospitals have resorted to housing patients in makeshift beds and in corridors, or sending them to other hospitals.

This is, however, not the first time public hospitals face a shortage of hospital beds for their patients. In 2010, similar reports have surfaced. Mr Khaw Boon Wan, the Health Minister then, said Singapore will never be caught in such predicament again.

Mr Khaw once described that the opening of Jurong General Hospital (even with the closing down of Alexandra Hospital) would bring in an additional 400 beds to the local hospitals in 2014.

Alexandra Hospital is the last few remaining public hospitals with spare beds and they take in around 11 such patients every day. Dr Chia Shi-Lu, part of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Health, believes that this is due to the holiday season, and not a spike in illnesses.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said he would be pushing to add 1,900 more acute hospital beds and 2,600 community hospital beds by 2020.

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