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Singapore Budget 2014: Hospital bed crunch comes under fire

Published on Mar 12, 2014 2:27 PM
 

The recent hospital bed crunch raises serious questions about patient safety and the adequacy of health-care infrastructure, said Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang in a hard-hitting speech during the debate on the Health Ministry's budget on Wednesday.

Mr Low (Aljunied GRC) said the bed crunch was an example of Third World problems in First World Singapore and added: "One certainly hopes that Singapore does not make history by going from Third World to First, and back to Third within one generation."

While acknowledging the bed crunch problem is not new and tends to wax and wane, he said the problem has become severe enough to "warrant MOH to take a hard look".

The bed crunch was also criticised by the chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for health, Dr Lam Pin Min (Sengkang West), even as he noted the many accolades that Singapore's health-care system has won for its quality and efficiency.

Patients waiting for a bed on Jan 10, 2014, at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital’s emergency department, which has 18 cubicles. The recent hospital bed crunch raises serious questions about patient safety and the adequacy of health-care infrastructure, said Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang in a hard-hitting speech during the debate on the Health Ministry's budget on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
 
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