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Managing the bed crunch in hospitals

New procedures, facilities added over the years

Published on Jan 10, 2014 11:25 AM

Bed shortages at public hospitals are not new, though rarely have they been this bad - with some patients waiting more than two days to get one.

Each time they occur, new procedures, facilities or stop-gap measures are introduced to meet the growing demand.

Some of the more extreme measures taken in the past decade have seen rooftop gardens converted into wards and beds placed in corridors.

By the mid-2000s, hospitals had made a major change to tackle the problem by introducing same-day admission for surgery. This saved public hospitals 17,000 bed nights a year, as previously patients had to check in the night before they were due to go under the knife.

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