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Some hospitals deploying doctors, nurses to TTSH, other steps taken to balance caseloads: MOH

SINGAPORE — Some hospitals started deploying doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) on Monday (May 3) to assist the hospital in caring for its existing patients.

Some hospitals deploying doctors, nurses to TTSH, other steps taken to balance caseloads: MOH

Tan Tock Seng Hospital has implemented more steps to reduce the risk of transmission as well as free up more manpower to take care of existing patients, the Ministry of Health said.

SINGAPORE  — Some hospitals started deploying doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) on Monday (May 3) to assist the hospital in caring for its existing patients. 

This is one of the steps that the healthcare community has taken to manage capacity and balance loads across hospitals here, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement.

TTSH has locked down four wards to combat a Covid-19 cluster. With eight new cases recorded on Monday, there are now 35 cases linked to the cluster.

TTSH itself has implemented more steps to reduce the risk of transmission as well as free up more manpower to take care of existing patients, MOH said. 

From Tuesday, TTSH progressively stopped admitting new patients until further notice. 

At the same time, all Singapore Civil Defence Force ambulance cases are being diverted to other public and private hospitals for the purpose of load-balancing.

For patients requiring specialist outpatient clinic services, TTSH will defer the appointments of stable cases and start teleconsultation and medication delivery where appropriate, MOH said.

For patients from specialist outpatient clinics needing in-person care, TTSH will arrange for them to be seen by staff members who are not linked to the TTSH cluster. 

“These measures allow TTSH and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases to focus its attention on providing appropriate care for patients who are presently admitted and to deal with the cluster of Covid-19 cases in the hospital,” MOH said.

MOH added that it is working closely with all public and private hospitals to ensure that patients requiring care will continue to get medical attention. 

The healthcare community has also worked together to reserve more beds to manage any potential increase in Covid-19 cases, it said. 

“To conserve resources across the healthcare sector, MOH has asked all hospitals to defer non-urgent surgeries and admissions as well as non-urgent specialist outpatient clinic appointments until further notice. The hospitals will contact the affected patients about these deferments.” 

Where appropriate, MOH said that it encourages hospitals’ healthcare teams to work closely with patients in arranging teleconsultations and alternative care arrangements until the present situation stabilises.

MOH is also urging members of the public to visit the emergency department only for emergency and life-threatening conditions. These include persistent chest pain, breathlessness, sudden weakness and numbness, serious injuries and multiple trauma. Longer wait times are expected, as other hospitals step up to support TTSH.

The statement comes after reports of a surge in caseloads and wait times at Singapore General Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital, as patients are being diverted away from TTSH.

MOH reiterated that no hospital is denying medical care to patients who need it. 

However, as a precautionary measure, hospitals may impose stricter triaging criteria for visitors, in assessing who is most critically ill and need medical treatment first. This would include asking visitors or accompanying persons who had been to TTSH inpatient wards from April 18 to defer their visits. 

Related topics

Covid-19 Tan Tock Seng Hospital TTSH MOH hospitals emergency

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