A new 10-storey National Skin Centre (NSC) is in the works for completion in 2022, amid rising demand for outpatient services.
The new centre near Tan Tock Seng Hospital will be located next to the NSC's existing five-storey building, which will be repurposed as the administrative headquarters of the National Healthcare Group (NHG), which oversees the skin centre.
With the new building, the NSC will increase its capacity by 50 per cent - from 46 to 69 consultation rooms - in order to cater to increased demand.
Between 2007 and 2016, outpatient clinic attendance at the NSC increased by more than 20 per cent, said Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new building yesterday.
She added that demand for dermatology services is expected to increase in the coming years, as a result of an ageing population.
"Seniors are more likely to need specialist treatment for skin conditions as they are more susceptible to chronic skin diseases and skin conditions, such as eczema and ulcerations," said Dr Khor.
NSC director Tan Suat Hoon said current patient capacity is already at its maximum, which presents a problem for waiting times.
More facilities and resources are necessary to delve deeper into sub-speciality areas, as well as to cater to patients with more complex skin conditions, added Associate Professor Tan.
The new NSC building is the latest instalment in the Health City Novena project, which aims to transform Novena into a medical hub by 2030.
The building will have facilities such as a day treatment centre and a patient education centre.
It will also have expanded training facilities to accommodate a projected increase in medical students, as well as enhanced amenities for research and development.
Said NHG chairman Kay Kuok: "The long-held tradition of NSC to promote continuous learning and training among its leadership and staff will carry on."