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CNY brings relief to hospitals' bed woes

Occupancy drops to an average 66% on first day; fewer people seen at A&E

Published on Feb 14, 2014 8:46 AM
 
The Chinese New Year brought welcome relief to public hospitals in Singapore, with bed occupancy falling to an average of 66.3 per cent on Jan 31, 2014. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA 

The Chinese New Year brought welcome relief to public hospitals here, with bed occupancy falling to an average of 66.3 per cent on Jan 31.

This is in marked contrast to earlier last month, when the hospitals faced a severe bed crunch.

Some were seeing more than 100 per cent occupancy on some days, with patients waiting for a ward bed having to be placed in a tent, along emergency department corridors and even in an area meant for mass decontamination.

Several hospitals needed to transfer some of their more stable patients to Alexandra Hospital, which had beds available.

 
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Background story

SEASONAL DIP

Traditionally, bed occupancy rates during Chinese New Year will dip as patients may request to return to celebrate with their families. Doctors will try their best to facilitate the request if it is clinically appropriate. In addition, people tend not to opt for non-major surgery during the festive period.

- A Health Ministry spokesman