New Outram Community Hospital Designed To Look Like Public Estates
To better meet the medical needs of the elderly, the government has opened Outram Community Hospital (OCH) – the country’s 9th hospital – on Saturday (7 Dec).
The new hospital, located next to Singapore General Hospital (SGH), offers “step-down care” and will ease elderly patients’ transition from acute hospitals back to their homes.
It also boasts other facilities, including gardens with different terrains and simulated interiors of buses and MRTs.
Outram Community Hospital will help patients get used to life back home
According to The Straits Times, OCH was designed to look like a “public estate”, so patients have an easier time adapting back to life at home.
To ease the process, the hospital even has specialised facilities that simulate pedestrian crossings, as well as interiors of public MRTs and buses.
This is so that patients can practise getting in and out of public transport on a wheelchair.
OCH also has a rooftop garden with multiple terrains like stairs, slopes, and rocky paths that patients can navigate on.
Contemporary design of hospital building
The hospital’s building is mostly brown and is decorated with a generous amount of plants.
It also looks modern and futuristic, thanks to its glass exterior.
The hospital will open over the next 3 years and will add 545 beds to Singapore’s healthcare system once it’s complete.
Currently, only a section of the wards are open.
An ageing population calls for new infrastructure
Mr Edwin Tong, Senior Minister of State for Law and Health, said at the soft opening that hospitals are receiving more frail patients who require a more extensive period of care.
In the past when the Singapore population was younger, hospitalisation was “episodic and short“. Acute hospitals were built to meet this demand.
The situation now, however, is quite the reverse.
With an ageing population, the government has to direct more resources towards building community hospitals, which focuses on helping patients “recover their functions” and transition from life at an acute hospital to their lives back home.
Perhaps the OCH’s location isn’t a coincidence after all. According to The Straits Times, Outram has the second-largest population of residents above 65 years old. #smart.
Our elderly deserve the best care
We’re glad that the government is building facilities to better meet the needs of our changing demographics.
Let’s hope more facilities will follow suit. After all, our elderly folks who made Singapore the country she is today deserve the best quality of care.
Featured image by MS News.