A photo which has been circulating in social media purportedly shows more than ten beds cramped in a small area of what appears to be a hospital ward. Some beds were placed just in front of another, seemingly to save space.
“World class health care at TTSH”, commented Gopi Bala, the person who first posted the photo on his Facebook page.
Gopi said that the photo was taken on 18 August 2015 at about 2pm at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).
He shared that this photo was taken when his friend’s dad, who had dengue fever, visited the hospital and had to wait there for some hours before finally being warded at the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC).
Apparently, this was not an isolated incident.
One commenter, Chiang, who shared his views on Gopi’s post, said, “Happened to my aunt 2 days ago. Not posting pictures because she doesn’t want to complain about the gahmen. Just happy to have a corridor.”
Earlier in January, another similar photo was posted online. Patients were seen housed in a makeshift tent and separated via partitions.
Changi General Hospital (CGH) was housing patients waiting for beds in the large air-conditioned tent after the 800-bed CGH, along with Tan Tock Seng and Khoo Teck Puat hospitals resorted to send patients to Alexandra, one of the few public hospitals here with spare beds then.
Citizens were enraged by the photo, asking why was there a lack of beds for patients and what measures are being taken to address the issue.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who has been helming the Health Ministry since 2011, commented in January that he was aware of the problem and said it is a reason for a push to add 1,900 more acute hospital beds and 2,600 community hospital beds by 2020.
However, with the current situation as depicted by the recent photo, there seems to be much more to done than just giving projections to relieve citizens’ worry on the hospital bed crunch.
In January, PAP MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, Dr Chia Shi Lu, dismissed the bed shortage, and ascribe it to the “holiday season”.
The Straits Times reported:
“Dr Chia Shi Lu, a member of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Health, suggested that the crunch might be due to the holiday season rather than a spike in illnesses.”
Read here: “Hospital bed crunch “due to holiday season”, says PAP MP“.
Dr Chia later clarified his remarks and said that the bed crunch was “due to several reasons.”
See here: “PAP MP clarifies remarks on bed crunch“.