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Health Ministry reveals contingency plans for severe haze conditions

Published on Jun 27, 2013 11:32 AM
 
Singapore’s city skyline, as seen from the outside of Marina Bay Sands, was more visible on 23 June 2013, as the haze began to clear. Medical institutions here have put in place contingency plans should the haze worsens, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Thursday. Speaking on the sidelines of a visit to Toa Payoh Polyclinic, Mr Gan said the plan will centre on three key areas - how to ensure patient safety, how healthcare institutions can meet the demand should haze-related cases surge, and how disruption to services can be minimised. -- MYPAPER FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Medical institutions here have put in place contingency plans should the haze worsens, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Thursday. Speaking on the sidelines of a visit to Toa Payoh Polyclinic, Mr Gan said the plan will centre on three key areas - how to ensure patient safety, how healthcare institutions can meet the demand should haze-related cases surge, and how disruption to services can be minimised.

For patient safety, he said that polyclinics, for example, have a triage system where they assess patients on arrival. This is to identify patients who are more vulnerable to the haze including the elderly, children, and those with respiratory conditions.

When it comes to meeting the demand for medical services, there are measures to divert staff to handle the surge in patients. Hospitals are also in the process of converting some of their spaces to house beds, said Mr Gan.

Hospitals and polyclinics have put in place the necessary measures to make sure they continue to operate with minimal disruption, such as emergency power supplies, he added. Medication is also being reviewed to ensure there is sufficient stock. Said Minister Gan: "So far, the impact of haze on the hospitals is manageable, because most of the demand are still at the polyclinics. So the polyclinics are the more important area that we are paying attention to."

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