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Changi General Hospital to open new medical centre by 2017

SINGAPORE — A new nine-storey medical centre at Changi General Hospital (CGH) dedicated to meeting complex specialist outpatient needs will be opened by 2017 — the latest planned facility in a wider move by hospitals towards having one-stop centres that provide greater patient-centric care.

Changi General Hospital to open new medical centre by 2017

Artist impression of CGH Medical Centre at Simei Street. The CGH Medical Centre will feature 136 consultation rooms for specialist outpatient care and minor surgery rooms that would take the load off operating theatres in the main hospital building. ARTIST’S IMPRESSION: CHANGI GENERAL HOSPITAL

SINGAPORE — A new nine-storey medical centre at Changi General Hospital (CGH) dedicated to meeting complex specialist outpatient needs will be opened by 2017 — the latest planned facility in a wider move by hospitals towards having one-stop centres that provide greater patient-centric care.

The CGH Medical Centre will feature 136 consultation rooms for specialist outpatient care in areas such as endocrinology and gastroenterology, and minor surgery rooms that would take the load off operating theatres in the main building.

In April, the National University Hospital (NUH) launched a 19-storey, one-stop centre to house specialist outpatient and clinical support services for the convenience of its patients.

Then, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong lauded NUH for its approach towards patient-centric care because its centre was geared towards providing multiple services, essential clinical facilities — such as imaging and dietetics — and specialist outpatient clinics, all in the same building.

At the CGH Medical Centre’s ground-breaking ceremony yesterday, the hospital’s chief executive Lee Chien Earn said the new centre also intends to design its infrastructure and processes with patients’ needs in mind, especially with the increasingly complex needs and multiple illnesses patients face today.

Currently, patients with simultaneous medical conditions are required to visit multiple departments. As each department has its own care plan, patients have to visit the hospital several times, and often find themselves given quite a few care plans and lists of medication. “Some of it is rather confusing to the patients,” said Dr Lee.

At the new centre, he is hoping to have teams working together, one or two staff fronting direct patient care, while a primary healthcare practitioner handles the back end. This way, whenever a patient visits, “there’s always someone they can relate to and someone they can work with to improve their recovery”, Dr Lee said.

Details of what he said was an ambitious plan are still being discussed. Dr Lee added that patient care models do evolve and change, even in only three years, when the Medical Centre opens. Hence, the team did not want to be “fixated” on a particular model.

In his speech, however, Mr Gan provided a glimpse into the possible inner workings of the new centre: “The primary doctor will collaborate with an integrated care team, made up of multiple specialists, nurses and allied health professionals, to come up with an integrated care plan tailored to the patient’s specific healthcare needs.”

Infrastructure features to allow greater collaboration include connected rooms so doctors can easily discuss care plans and consultation rooms large enough to accommodate a patient, his caregiver and multiple specialists.

When it opens, the CGH Medical Centre is expected to receive about 400,000 patient visits a year out of the 580,000 expected annual visits campus-wide.

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