Introduce priority queues at medical institutions

I have been taking my elderly mother to a traditional Chinese medicine clinic this past month.

She suffers from dementia, and her condition has deteriorated recently, resulting in the need for her to pay regular visits to the clinic for acupuncture treatment.

However, the lengthy waiting times have brought about much stress due to her unstable mental condition.

She is prone to creating a ruckus during the wait, or may even change her mind and decide to refuse treatment while waiting.

This is rather problematic, as it means that she would not be able to reliably receive the treatment she requires, a potentially serious problem.

I strongly suggest the establishment of priority queues for those who have immense trouble waiting for extended periods of time.

These would include patients with severe dementia or debilitating mental or physical conditions which cause them to be incapable of enduring long waits.

I strongly suggest applying such an initiative broadly to all healthcare institutions, including clinics and hospitals, in particular those serving the aged.

With Singapore's rapidly greying population, there would be progressively more patients who suffer from severe dementia.

As part of the country's move to make healthcare more accessible to the community, it is necessary to introduce priority to those who need it.

Jenny Tan Lay Yong (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2016, with the headline 'Introduce priority queues at medical institutions'. Print Edition | Subscribe