TTSH & MOH working with other hospitals to increase capacity & balance load

"MOH reiterates that no hospital is denying medical care to patients who need it," wrote the ministry.

Andrew Koay | May 03, 2021, 08:02 PM

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Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) have activated various capacity management and load balancing measures.

According to a MOH press release, the move — which came in light of increased Covid-19 cases in the community — involved working with other public and private hospitals.

As part of the measures, TTSH implemented further steps to reduce the risk of transmission as well as free up more manpower to take care of existing patients.

Since May 2 the hospital had progressively ceased admissions of new inpatient cases until further notice.

All Singapore Civil Defence Force ambulance cases will be diverted to other public and private hospitals for the purpose of load-balancing.

Additionally from May 3, some hospitals have also started deploying doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to assist TTSH teams in caring for their existing patients.

Specialist Outpatient Clinic deferred

Specialist Outpatient Clinic (SOC) services at TTSH will be deferred for stable cases with teleconsultation and medication delivered where appropriate, while patients requiring in-person care will be seen by staff not linked to the hospital's Covid-19 cluster.

MOH wrote that the measures would allow TTSH and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) 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.

With the healthcare community working together to reserve more beds to manage any potential increase in Covid-19 cases, MOH asked all hospitals to defer non-urgent surgeries and admissions, as well as non-urgent SOC appointments until further notice.

Affected patients will be contacted by the hospitals.

Members of the public have also been urged by the ministry to visit the emergency department only for emergencies and life-threatening conditions like persistent chest pain, breathlessness, sudden weakness and numbness, serious injuries, and multiple trauma.

Those with non-emergency conditions should first seek consultation with their general practitioners or doctors at the polyclinics.

Stricter triage criteria

"MOH reiterates that no hospital is denying medical care to patients who need it," wrote the ministry.

Hospitals, however, may be imposing stricter triaging criteria for visitors.

This includes asking visitors or accompanying persons who had been to TTSH inpatient wards from Apr. 18, 2021, to defer their visits.

"This is in the best interest and safety of patients and staff in the other hospitals, as the investigation of the TTSH outbreak is ongoing."

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Top image from Tan Tock Seng Hospital Facebook