Hospital architecture not tropical-climate-friendly

It does not matter that half-height walls in C-class wards have now become full-height, or that "spot-cooling" measures - allowing the cool air from air-conditioned corridors to leak into wards without air-conditioning - have been adopted as stopgap measures.

Our present day hospital architectural designs are just not tropical-climate-friendly (Review 'no air-conditioning' norm for subsidised wards?; Aug 17).

Yet, to prevent cross-infection, precision air-conditioning in the form of disparate ventilation for operating theatres, wards, ICUs, corridors, laboratories and clean rooms can be cost-prohibitive.

Subsidised hospital care, already considered by the needy to be cost-crippling, will get even more expensive with this air-conditioning necessity, luxury though it may be perceived to be.

Still, there is no reason why the lower-income should be discriminated against in the quality of healthcare.

The fear that many will choose subsidised hospitalisation over fair-payment facilities, should all wards be similarly well-equipped, can be allayed by mandatory means testing.

In the caring society that we strive to become, nobody wants the sick to be deprived.

Similarly, few would want to subsidise those who can afford to pay but wish to game the system by exploiting the benefits not meant for them.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2018, with the headline 'Hospital architecture not tropical-climate-friendly'. Print Edition | Subscribe