Space crunch prompts hospitals to turn offices into treatment areas

Other News Materials 27 February 2008 03:59 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - A space crunch is prompting Singapore's public hospitals to turn office rooms into clinic facilities, news reports said Wednesday.

At Tan Tock Seng Hospital, chief executive Lim Suet Wun is moving out of his office, and administrative staff are turning to temporary offices in containers, The Straits Times said.

The hospital is adding 47 beds this year, on top of an additional 97 beds in 2007. It currently has 1,333 beds.

"We do expect the bed situation in 2009 to become tighter," Lim was quoted as saying.

The hospital will continue to look at freeing up office space, and may borrow ward space from the nearby Ren Ci Community Hospital.

Public hospitals are facing a big squeeze on beds. From 2003-07, 55,000 more patients were admitted to public hospitals, a 20-per-cent increase.

Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan has asked hospitals to add about 100 more beds a year until a new facility opens with 550 beds in 2010, the report said.