Jurong hospital to cut wait and see doc

SINGAPORE - Waiting for your turn to see a doctor in a hospital waiting room can be a pain. However, there could be a cure at the upcoming Ng Teng Fong General Hospital now being built in Jurong.

Patients may be served in almost half the time with its new queue system when the hospital opens in December next year, said Mr Ng Kian Swan, assistant chief operating officer of JurongHealth, which runs the hospital.

At a preview of some of the key features in the new hospital on Saturday, Mr Ng said patients would collect just one queue number that they keep throughout each service and consultation in a single visit to the hospital.

They will also make just one payment, at the end of the day, added JurongHealth chief executive Foo Hee Jug.

"If you move through the clinic from radiology to pharmacy, you can choose to pay only at the pharmacy - whichever is your last stop," he said.

Ng Teng Fong Hospital's design also takes into consideration potential industrial accidents: A decontamination unit will be built in front of the emergency room and the emergency wing is vertically integrated to cut down travel time.

For instance, the operating theatre will be connected to the intensive care unit by a dedicated lift.

"Of concern is our backyard - the heavy industries, and Jurong Island just next to us, and of course the emerging elderly population," said Dr Quek Lit Sin, head of emergency medicine at JurongHealth.

The adjoining 400-bed Jurong Community Hospital - opening in 2015 - is also run by JurongHealth.

The 700-bed Ng Teng Fong Hospital will have features aimed at making a patient's stay more pleasant and hassle-free.

These include a window for every patient, a garden for intensive- care patients, and a bus and MRT "station" in the garden to train older patients to return to active life in the community.

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