No change in hospital waiting times despite rise in patients

No change in hospital waiting times despite rise in patients

SINGAPORE - Patients in C-class wards of public hospitals are treated the same as those in higher-class wards, and are upgraded on a case-by-case basis in the event of a bed shortage, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday.

He was responding to Mr Seah Kian Peng, an MP for Marine Parade GRC, who had asked about the occupancy of such wards.

While he did not provide figures, Mr Gan said that the rate is "very high", and that patients may be asked to opt for higher-class wards should beds be unavailable.

However, no patient "will be denied admission just because the lower-class wards are full", he said, adding that hospitals here have been able to maintain waiting times despite increases in the number of admissions and outpatients.

Subsidised patient services cost the Government $2.2 billion last year.

The ministry is looking into reviewing the remuneration system for doctors "to ensure that we encourage them to deliver appropriate care for patients", he said.

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