SINGAPORE - Many people seeking outpatient treatment at the National University Hospital (NUH) will no longer have to travel from building to building to get everything done.
Instead, they need only visit a new "one-stop" medical centre, which was officially launched yesterday by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.
The 19-storey centre, located above Kent Ridge MRT station, caters mainly to patients undergoing outpatient procedures.
It houses facilities like specialist outpatient clinics and day-surgery operating theatres.
NUH chief executive officer Joe Sim said a key design consideration was to "provide one-stop care wherever possible".
"One of the key things we learnt from our old design was that patients often got lost," he said.
The new building, on the other hand, is designed to make patients' trips to their destinations as straightforward as possible.
The centre has been in operation since July last year, and has seen more than 120,000 patient visits. It has the capacity to accommodate more than 250,000 patient visits a year.
One satisfied customer is Mr Patrick Aw. The 49-year-old has been to NUH regularly over the past two years for various ailments, and began using the centre last year.
"It's more convenient here because everything is in the same building, just on different levels," he said. "It has saved me a lot of time and energy."
Previously, he would have an X-ray scheduled in one building, before walking to another for his consultation with the doctor.
Mr Gan said the new medical centre was part of the Health Ministry's capacity expansion under the Healthcare 2020 Masterplan.
He lauded the centre for its elder-friendly design features.
"Building infrastructure capacity is important, but we must also integrate the care and design of our health-care facilities to better serve the needs of our older and less mobile patients," he said.
This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.