SINGAPORE - Residents in the east of Singapore will be served by a new integrated hospital located next to Bedok North MRT station when it opens around 2030.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Friday (Nov 13) announced that the hospital will be built on a plot of land bounded by Bedok Reservoir Road and Bedok North Road.
The new hospital is meant to ease the load on Changi General Hospital (CGH), and complement other initiatives to provide good medical care for the country's growing silver population.
Plans for the hospital were first announced in March in Parliament.
Mr Gan on Friday said it will integrate the functions of a general hospital and a community hospital.
The general hospital will provide emergency services, inpatient and specialist outpatient services, while the community hospital will offer intermediate services such as rehabilitation and sub-acute care to support patients discharged from the general hospital.
Several other institutions in Singapore currently co-locate general and community hospitals next to each other, including Singapore General Hospital and Outram Community Hospital.
SingHealth will operate the new hospital in Bedok, which will help to better serve the healthcare needs of the community in the east of Singapore, Mr Gan said.
As Changi General Hospital is the only hospital in the east of Singapore, the new integrated hospital will help to add to the healthcare capacity there, he added.
There are currently 10 public acute hospitals and nine community hospitals in Singapore.
This will go up to 12 public acute and 12 community hospitals across the island by 2030, when the new hospital, and the upcoming Woodlands Health Campus and TTSH Integrated Care Hub at Novena are ready.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said it intends to call tenders over the coming weeks to appoint project consultants to plan and design the integrated hospital at Bedok North.
Residents in the area welcomed news of the hospital.
Madam Tay Lee Keng, 61, said the facility can help the many seniors living in Bedok who may have to make emergency visits. "Not everyone has children to take them to the hospital, so if it's nearer to home it's easier," added the assistant teacher at a kindergarten.
Mr Lionel Gan, 53, who works in telco sales and business development, hopes the campus can weave aspects of the Bedok neighbourhood into its design.
He said: "If we could incorporate the East Coast feel of the openness, leafiness (and) airiness… that might in actual fact hasten the recovery process for patients."
Teacher Helen Yeo, 50, suggested providing shuttle buses for people who live in other areas of Bedok, as the hospital may not be as accessible to them.
She also hopes that it will provide services such as mental health care and caregiver support.
MOH said it will work with SingHealth to engage the community in the area and co-create ideas on how the new hospital can better meet their needs.
Madam Josephine Gan, 65, said: "Me and my husband have no children, so we'll need someone to care for us if we have dementia, or when we can't walk. So I think this is very good for us."