No more 'Amazing Race' for heart patients

SINGAPORE - A NEW 12-storey, $266 million building set to open at the end of next year will mean that patients at the National Heart Centre Singapore will no longer have to go on a race around the campus to get the services they need.

The building will operate on a new concept that "wraps services around the patient", chief operating officer, Mr Alson Goh told The Straits Times.

This means that patients can see a doctor, have a blood test and an electrocardiogram (ECG) on the same floor, he explained.

"A lot of elderly people get disoriented and lost easily, especially if they have to walk from place to place for services," said Mr Goh.

At the existing four-storey building on the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) campus, patients go to different floors for ECGs, to speak to a medical social worker and to collect medicine.

Pre-admission testing is in another block, which for elderly people is about a 20-minute walk away.

"This is like taking the patient on an Amazing Race around the campus," said Ms Chia Puay Choo, director of the new building project, referring to the US reality TV series.

The new 8,800 sq m site will be about 400m from the present heart centre.

There will be 38 consultation rooms - more than double the current 18.

The centre treated 108,000 patients last year, a figure that is set to rise by 60 per cent in the next decade, said Mr Goh.

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