Hospital over-stayers: Man chalks up 400-day stay

SINGAPORE - A 67-year-old man suffered a head injury after being hit by a heavy object and was sent to the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for treatment. He ended up staying for a total of 400 days because his family could not care for him at home. They also declined to send him to a rehabilitation hospital because of the high cost of care.

Shin Min Daily News reported that the patient first stayed at the hospital for 143 days. But he came back and admitted himself again the very next day, and ended up staying for another 257 days. 

The patient required at least two people to look after his daily needs after his operation. But the man's wife was unable to look after him alone, and their maid could not help either.

The hospital's suggestion that the family send the patient to a rehabilitation hospital did not work out too, as they felt the cost of care there was too high. Social workers at the hospital also suggested that the family rent out a room at home to raise money for his care, but that was not taken up by the family.

The family finally agreed to check the patient into rehabilitative care after he spent a total of 400 days in the hospital.

Another hospital over-stayer

Shin Min Daily News also highlighted another case of a patient over staying. The 47-year-old man, who has kidney disease, had both his legs amputated. But in order to stay at the hospital for free, he deliberately drank a lot of water to 'damage' his organs, and even refused treatment.

The patient, who was admitted to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in December last year, has been in the hospital for two months.

A spokesperson for the hospital said it works with voluntary organisations to assist patients who face problems after being discharged. 

The spokesperson also said that patients who receive care and concern from their family in a conducive environment recover better.

As for patients who require long-term care, the hospital assists their families to place them in rehabilitative care.

The spokesperson added that the hospital specialises in emergency medical care, and resources are placed towards cases such as trauma injuries or diseases such as heart attacks.