Conduct audits on residential nursing homes

At a recent post-Budget feedback forum, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong assured participants that while health care will remain affordable, it is necessary for everyone to stay healthy in order to keep costs low ("Health-care costs, hospital bed crunch key topics at govt forum"; March 21).

Although I agree with Mr Gan, there are instances in which people's health can be compromised due to reasons beyond their control.

For instance, some cheaper drugs to treat mental illness have been known to cause side effects. If better-quality drugs are prescribed, the risk of people suffering from multiple ailments can be significantly reduced.

Also, while some nursing homes provide excellent care and practise good hygiene, there are others found wanting in these areas due to limited resources and funding. In such instances, residents may end up falling sick and requiring hospitalisation.

It would be prudent for the Government to invest more in residential and nursing homes, and to carry out random and periodic audits on these facilities.

Let it not be the case whereby action is taken only after someone blows the whistle.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

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