Recently, I took my 99-year-old mother to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for an appointment.
While the appointment went smoothly, the wait to pay the bill and make a follow-up appointment took almost half an hour. Elderly patients can become tired from waiting for long periods.
Unlike polyclinics, SGH does not have an express priority queue for elderly patients. There are also no self-payment machines to expedite things.
I was later told that SGH has a system where patients can arrange for all bills to be charged to their credit card so they need not wait.
But the staff failed to inform patients of this. Besides, patients who want to pay by Medisave or cash still have to wait.
Why has SGH not implemented systems that assist and give priority to elderly patients, and promote efficient bill payment?
Perhaps registration staff could assist the cashier in making follow-up appointments for patients.
With the silver tsunami around the corner, SGH, as the leading hospital in Singapore, would do well to hasten to improve its systems to give priority to elderly patients.
Susan Tan Lin Neo (Miss)