Hospitals bed crunch will ease

According to the Straits Times news report “New Outram Community Hospital to ease bed crunch” (May 22) – “When it opens in 2020, the new Outram Community Hospital (OCH) will help ease the national bed crunch that has seen hospitals resort to placing patients on beds in corridors.

… in the 550-bed community hospital.

The new 700-bed Ng Teng Fong General Hospital will open in phases from June 30 after a six-month construction delay, while Yishun Community Hospital will open in December with 170 beds, and have 428 beds when fully operational.”


Hospitals beds increased by 0.8% in 12 years

According to the Department of Statistics Yearbook of Statistics 2014 – the total number of hospital beds in Singapore increased by only 99 beds, from 11,936 in 2001 to 12,035 in 2013.

This is an increase of only about 0.8 per cent in 12 years.


Population increased by 32%

Against this, the population increased by about 1.3 million or about 32 per cent, from 4.1 million to 5.4 million, during the same 12-year period.


Extended care hospital beds decreased by 6% in 6 years

The statistics for Extended Care hospital beds (Community hospitals) is even worse. The number of hospital beds decreased by 216 beds, from 3312 in 2007 to 3,096 in 2013.

This is a decrease of about 6 per cent in 6 years.


Add 1,678 beds, but population increase to 5.6m? 

Even with the addition of 1,678 beds when the 3 new hospitals cited in the subject Straits Times news report are fully operational next year, the population has already grown to 5.47 million now (June 2014), and may grow to 5.6 million by the middle of next year, at the current 1.6 per cent population growth rate.


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