SG can ramp up ICU capacity but lacks people: Puthucheary

The minister addressed the Parliament about intensive care units and hospital capacity.

In a statement to the Parliament, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary said Singapore has the resources to increase intensive care unit (ICU) capacity. However, he said the country also lacks the people to allocate the resources effectively.

"Logistically, we can keep stepping up our ICU beds. We have ventilators, equipment, consumables, all the things that are needed. But not enough people," commented Puthucheary. "As a result, when we increase beds, we stretch and stretch our healthcare workers. We will come to the point that they will no longer be able to provide that continuous excellent care."

The minister warned about the nurse-to-patient ratio decrease. He pointed out that in an ideal ICU setting, one nurse looks after one or two patients. "If they have to look after four, they will not have enough hands or time to provide the same level of care."

The past fortnight has seen ICU staff "stretched to their limit," with a peak of 171 COVID cases in ICU. However, the cases have since come down to 130. They occupy around 60% of the 219 ICU beds currently reserved for COVID-19 patients.

The minister revealed that the Ministry of Health is currently working with hospitals to ramp up from 219 to 280 ICU beds for COVID-19 patients this week. If needed, the next expansion will be up to 350 beds.

Join Healthcare Asia Magazine community
Since you're here...

...there are many ways you can work with us to advertise your company and connect to your customers. Our team can help you dight and create an advertising campaign, in print and digital, on this website and in print magazine.

We can also organize a real life or digital event for you and find thought leader speakers as well as industry leaders, who could be your potential partners, to join the event. We also run some awards programmes which give you an opportunity to be recognized for your achievements during the year and you can join this as a participant or a sponsor.

Let us help you drive your business forward with a good partnership!

The partnerships aim to improve care delivery and patient outcomes.
New data highlighted that remote patient management digital health help improve clinical outcomes.
The new point-of-care test offers an accuracy rate of up to 93%.
The 2021 healthcare budget allocation is at MYR31.9b.
The acquisition cements Doctor Anywhere's position as Asia's leader in telehealth.
This came as the life sciences company opened its new bioanalytical laboratory.
Artificial intelligence in healthcare will be the first area of focus.
The VCAT addresses the challenges of dementia screening in multi-lingual countries.
Famous fruit shake shop Fruitas has inked a deal to acquire 100% shares of Surehealth.
The minister addressed the Parliament about intensive care units and hospital capacity.
The partnership aims to accelerate precision medicine adoption in SEA.
The PHP 26m project is an EMR system on its way towards commercialisation.
The centre aims to cut gene decoding waiting time in the region to under 30 days.
Currently, the Union Budget 2021-2022 allocates 1.2% of GDP to public health.
Two companies have bid to make the hospital group private.