Malfunction causes system outage at some polyclinics, delaying patients' appointments

Seven polyclinics under National University Polyclinics are thought to have been affected, including the Choa Chu Kang branch (above). CMG FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE - Some patients had their appointments delayed on Saturday morning (Aug 27) when network hardware issues affecting IT systems caused a system outage at some polyclinics.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, a spokesman for the Integrated Health Information Systems said that network maintenance had been conducted between midnight and 5am on Saturday.

"At around 7.20am, a network hardware issue that affected some IT systems was discovered.

"All polyclinics implemented their business continuity measures to manage ground operations. The issue was rectified and IT systems progressively normalised between 9.05am and 10.45am on the same day. We apologise for the inconvenience caused," he said.

ST understands that some of the seven polyclinics under National University Polyclinics were affected.

Mr Tan, who declined to give his full name and age, tipped off ST about the system outage.

He said he arrived at the Choa Chu Kang polyclinic at 9am for his scheduled blood test and saw a crowd of 20 to 30 of mostly elderly people gathered in the lobby.

He said he heard polyclinic staff telling patients that as the system was down, they could not see the doctor and that their appointments had to be rescheduled.

Mr Tan said he was told in a phone call with the Ministry of Health "that the system for polyclinics in the west zone was currently having issues".

Many of those who were affected went home, he said.

The system was up when he returned to the polyclinic at 10am and he got a queue number for his blood test about 10 minutes later.

Correction note: An earlier version of this story stated that power outages were experienced at the polyclinics as a result of the malfunction. This is inaccurate. The malfunction only resulted in a outage of the IT systems. We are sorry for the error.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.