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April Month Sees Over 24Hrs Waiting Time for Bed at Public Hospitals

Patients had to wait for over a day just to get a hospital bed at public hospitals in the month of April.

The waiting time for a hospital bed at 3 hospitals exceeded 24hrs for the week 9-15 April.

Daily bed occupancy rates ranged between 80 per cent and 100 per cent during this period.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital saw the longest median waiting time during that week – close to 30 hours on 10 Apr – and also had a 100 per cent daily bed occupancy rate for 6 of the 7 days.

This is according to data released by the Health Ministry.

MOH said that the waiting time eventually dropped and ranged between 2 and 12 hours by the end of the week.

Hospital emergency departments have been seeing higher volumes of patients over the past 2 weeks.

The volumes of COVID-19 and non-COVID patients have both increased, MOH said, adding that some hospitals have longer wait times than others.

It attributed the long waiting times to “many more patients with more complex medical needs, often older, who needed longer hospital stays.”

“This contributed to higher bed utilisation, which slowed the flow of patients from emergency departments to hospital wards.”

MOH said that treatment will be administered to patients even though there is no ready bed for them.

“If urgent care is required, these patients may have surgery done in the operating theatre or have urgent treatments performed elsewhere in the hospital, even before the ward bed is made available.”

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