Farrer Park Hospital patients can recuperate at adjoining hotel to ease ward crunch

A deluxe suite at Farrer Park Hospital. Alternatively, foreign patients may check into the adjoining hotel to recuperate.
A deluxe suite at Farrer Park Hospital. Alternatively, foreign patients may check into the adjoining hotel to recuperate.PHOTO: DP ARCHITECTS

Operations can be broadcast live to hotel seminar rooms for teaching doctors

Farrer Park Hospital (FPH) patients, especially those from overseas, can recuperate at an adjoining hotel.

One Farrer Hotel and Spa, with 243 rooms, suites and villas, can free up ward space, said FPH chief executive officer Timothy Low.

FPH also aims to be a teaching hospital, and has 18 operating theatres equipped with fibre-optic connections. Operations can be broadcast live on a high-speed and stable connection to seminar rooms in the hotel, where medical students or other doctors can watch and observe the procedures.

 

Potentially, operations and other procedures could also be broadcast to other countries, said Dr Low.

The hospital's construction started eight years ago on the site where Mr Lee Kuan Yew held his first "Merdeka" (Malay for independence) rally speech.

FPH was founded by a group of former Parkway Hospitals doctors and a mix of individual and corporate investors.

The management team of Farrer Park Company, which owns FPH, includes chief executive Peng Chung Mien, a medical doctor who has been CEO of ST Medical Services since 1977, and Ms Jessie Goh, previously vice-president of finance at local food and beverage company Yeo Hiap Seng.

Its board of directors includes other medical doctors, such as chairman Maurice Choo, a cardiologist in private practice, and Dr Richard Chew, a general surgeon also in private practice.

BUILDING A REPUTATION

As with all new hospitals, it will take a while to build its capabilities. How it does will depend on what niche areas it develops, which in turn will attract doctors.

GLENEAGLES RENAL SPECIALIST NG TSUN GUN

Doctors in private practice who can apply for practising privileges at private hospitals say they will look at FPH's track record before deciding whether to practise there.

Mount Elizabeth respiratory physician Ong Kian Chung said the hospital should have a high standard of care and a low number of "bad" incidents. Doctors would also seek feedback from other specialists.

"Some doctors might not want to change their existing practices because their unfamiliarity with a new hospital may affect their quality of treatment," said Dr Ong.

Gleneagles renal specialist Ng Tsun Gun said doctors who have patients in existing hospitals might not want to move.

"As with all new hospitals, it will take a while to build its capabilities. How it does will depend on what niche areas it develops, which, in turn, will attract doctors.

"At its target price point, it is clearly not looking to be in direct competition with the other private hospitals. Its location is also different from the others, and offers patients a different option."

FPH will be the 11th private hospital in Singapore. Other private hospital groups include Parkway Pantai and Raffles Medical Group, as well as Mount Alvernia Hospital.

There are eight public hospitals, as of October. In total, Singapore has 26 hospitals and speciality centres.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2016, with the headline ''Hospitel' helps cure ward crunch'. Print Edition | Subscribe