SINGAPORE - From the middle of next year, Raffles Hospital's emergency department will receive patients with non-critical conditions from Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) ambulances.
The programme is a collaboration between the hospital and the Health Ministry.
Under it, patients with conditions such as fractures will receive subsidised care, paying rates similar to those charged in public hospitals.
The hospital will also provide inpatient care or follow-ups at specialist outpatient clinics for these patients if necessary.
"This partnership builds on Raffles' track record of contributing to national healthcare needs," said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, announcing the news on Monday morning.
"At the height of Sars in 2003, we tapped on Raffles to treat patients who required non-urgent surgery to relieve the overwhelming load on our public hospitals."
He was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the hospital's $310 million extension, which will be a 20-storey tower dedicated to ambulatory patient traffic.
This includes day surgery, specialist clinics, and radiotherapy facilities.
The new building will take around two years to complete, after which the hospital will renovate the existing building to expand services such as emergency rooms and wards.