Concord International Hospital ordered to stop healthcare services for lapses in patient safety

Concord International Hospital was ordered to temporarily stop the provision of all healthcare services from Dec 19, 2020. PHOTO: CONCORD INTERNATIONAL HOSPITAL/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Concord International Hospital (CIH) was ordered to temporarily stop the provision of all healthcare services from Dec 19, after inspections by the Ministry of Health (MOH) found several significant lapses affecting patient safety.

MOH said on Saturday (Dec 26) that the inspections it carried between Dec 14 and Dec 16 found that the hospital had failed to abide by the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act (PHMC).

"Multiple life-saving equipment and medications were either not maintained or not available in critical areas of the hospital such as the intensive care unit and the operating theatre.

"There was also a lack of quality control in the laboratory and infection control processes, which poses significant risks to patient safety and well-being," the ministry said.

It added that as at Dec 19, CIH had ongoing outpatient medical appointments with four patients. There were no patients warded at the hospital.

MOH has informed CIH to work with its medical team to review the treatment plans and ensure proper continuity of outpatient care for the four patients, while the hospital addresses its lapses.

Meanwhile, those who intend to seek medical care in the hospital are advised to do so at other licensed healthcare facilities.

CIH was one of the private hospitals roped in by MOH in March to help care for Covid-19 patients who are clinically well but tested positive for the virus.

Other private hospitals which were tapped on to help reduce the strain on the public healthcare system include Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Gleneagles Hospital.

MOH did not say whether the lapses at CIH were related to the handling of Covid-19 patients.

The ministry reminded all healthcare facilities licensed under the PHMC to ensure that safety and quality of clinical care are met at all times.

Healthcare facilities which fail to comply with the Act could face a fine of up to $20,000 and/or have their license revoked.

MOH added that healthcare facilities will be licensed under a new Healthcare Services Act from the second half of 2021.

The new Act will further strengthen regulatory conformance across various healthcare services to ensure continued delivery of safe care to patients, said MOH.

Previously known as Fortis Surgical Hospital, CIH was acquired by China-headquartered Concord Medical Services Holdings (CCM) in April 2015 in a $55 million cash deal.

CCM chief executive Yang Jianyu said then that the hospital would be an extension of the healthcare provider's overseas business, with plans for it to be a "high-end medical treatment institution... for patients coming from China, who currently are seeking overseas treatment".

CIH could not be reached for comment on Saturday, and its website was down as of the afternoon.

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