Can patients go to any hospital in an emergency?

I read with some concern the report on the Gleneagles Hospital security guard who suffered a heart attack (Gleneagles to pay security guard's medical bill; Oct 14).

The patient suffered the attack on the hospital's premises and was duly looked after there.

There were attempts to transfer him to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) but no beds were available till several days later.

The incident made me wonder if SGH is the only public hospital here with heart specialists.

If the other hospitals do have heart specialists, did SGH attempt to get in touch with them to secure a bed for the patient?

Also, if the patient had suffered the attack at home, should his family have taken him to SGH or the closest public hospital?

Should a patient who suffers a heart attack be taken to one hospital and to another for, say, a stroke?

Could the Ministry of Health help the public understand the protocol in handling life-threatening cases and how to react in such emergencies?

Frank Yeo Yong Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2017, with the headline 'Can patients go to any hospital in an emergency?'. Print Edition | Subscribe