No need to wait for 6.5 million population
SINGAPORE: The current high occupancy rate at some public hospital is stressing doctors to discharge their patients, admitted Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday. Occupancy has hit highs of more than 90 per cent for some hospitals recently, above Mr Khaw’s ideal of 85 per cent. “When you run at over 90 per cent, it’s very stressful,” said the Health Minister, who was the chief executive of several hospitals from 1985 to 1992. “Stressful in the sense that, every day, our doctors have to go down to beg the patients (to be discharged).” Occupying a hospital bed for acute illness costs the Government an average of $1,000 a day, compared to “a few hundred dollars” for a community hospital bed. This is “the cost to society”, said Mr Khaw at the sidelines of an event yesterday. “If I don’t actively shift patients down, our total cost will just be heavy.” Reported in Today We are now starting to get a little dosage of what life would be like when we double our population. We will simply break at the seams if we continue to push to the limits.