Make change of dressing less wasteful

My last visit to the Bukit Batok Polyclinic convinced me that there is wastage of resources in certain procedures that needs to be addressed.

After a minor procedure on my back, I went to the polyclinic to have my dressing changed.

On the first visit, I was told to purchase a big piece of plaster and after using 10 per cent of it, I was reminded to bring along the old plaster for subsequent use by the nurse.

After using a total of 40 per cent of the plaster, I had to throw it away after six months as it had passed its expiry date.

Many elderly patients go to the polyclinics in wheelchairs to have their dressing changed.

It would be a tall order to ask these patients - some of whom are stricken with dementia - to remember to bring back the unused plaster on their next visit.

It would be more economical to cut out a plaster for the first patient and use the rest of it for other patients.

If the cost of the plaster is $10, it can be used by 10 patients and each can be charged $1 for the actual plaster size that they use.

The polyclinic has sterile boxes to store any unused plaster and there is no fear of contamination.

Many elderly patients forget to bring back the unused plaster, and even if they do, the plaster would usually be contaminated and may not be safe to use.

I hope the Bukit Batok Polyclinic would look into my suggestion, streamline its procedures and make the next visit less painful and stressful for its elderly patients.

Heng Cho Choon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 05, 2015, with the headline 'Make change of dressing less wasteful'. Print Edition | Subscribe