SINGAPORE- Patients at Changi General Hospital (CGH) with many medical conditions will no longer have to travel from clinic to clinic within the hospital to get treated when a new one-stop medical centre is up in 2017.
The $220 million, nine-storey centre, located next to CGH, will be for patients who need specialist outpatient care.
"It is increasingly common for patients to suffer from not just one, but multiple conditions, for which they need to consult several doctors," said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong at a ceremony on Friday where plans for the centre were announced.
"Each doctor may prescribe a different care plan and this can confuse patients and affect how they receive treatment and the outcome," he added.
Patients who have various ailments, for example diabetic patients who also have kidney or heart problems, will now come under the care of one main doctor at the centre. This doctor will then work with other doctors and nurses involved in treating the patient for different conditions, to come up with only one care plan for the patient.
The new centre will house specialist outpatient clinics and about 140 consultation rooms. It is expected to host 400,000 patient visits a year.
Chief executive of CGH, Dr Lee Chien Earn, said the hospital planned for this centre because it is seeing more patients who have multiple chronic diseases. Currently, two-thirds of its patients are 65 years old and above.
Mr Gan said that even as the country builds more hospitals and medical centres, it is also important to ramp up primary care facilities - such as polyclinics- so that Singaporeans can get a broader range of care.
Earlier this year, his ministry announced that it plans to build four more new polyclinics by 2020. Mr Gan revealed the locations of two of them, which will be ready in three years' time. Pioneer polyclinic will be located next to Jurong West Primary School and Punggol polyclinic will be located just outside Oasis LRT station.