Tuesday 30 June 2015

Alexandra Hospital closes for renovation; Ng Teng Fong General Hospital officially opens 30 Jun 2015

Last patients moved to Jurong hospital; Alexandra to reopen in third quarter
By Salma Khalik, Senior Health Correspondent, The Straits Times, 30 Jun 2015

SINGAPORE'S only colonial-style hospital, Alexandra Hospital, closed its doors to patients yesterday to undergo renovation works.

Its last 19 patients were taken by ambulances yesterday afternoon to the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) in Jurong, which opens officially today (30 Jun).

It’s our last night at #AlexandraHospital before we open our doors at #NTFGH and we have just transferred all our...
Posted by JurongHealth on Monday, June 29, 2015

But those who are fond of Alexandra Hospital's colonial-era facade and its luxurious garden with 500 plant species and over 100 butterfly species, need not fret.

It will reopen and take in patients in the third quarter of this year, and be run by the team behind the upcoming Sengkang General Hospital.

That team will move to the new hospital in 2018.

Alexandra Hospital will then become the second campus of the National University Health System, which is less than 4km away.

A Ministry of Health (MOH) spokesman told The Straits Times that it plans to maintain Alexandra Hospital's "healthcare heritage while intensifying land use".

The ministry has called a tender for a masterplan and feasibility study on the longer-term use for the site. This will take a year or more to complete.

Alexandra Hospital, which sits on a sprawling 110,000 sq m site, dates back to 1938 when it was called the British Military Hospital.

It got its current name in 1971 when the British withdrew from Singapore and handed the hospital over to the Government.

The hospital had given its last patients the option of going to any public hospital. But all chose to stick with their current team of carers, who moved to the new hospital in Jurong.

Seventeen of the patients spent last night in the new wards at NTFGH.

The remaining two were moved to the Jurong Community Hospital, which will be using two of NTFGH's wardsuntil its own adjoining building is ready.

Mr Atan Bidin, 77, a respiratory patient, was the first to be transferred from Alexandra Hospital to NTFGH.

He said: "I like it here very much because of the windows and bigger space. The air is fresher. It is very breezy.

"The doctors and nurses have been very nice. I like the view and I am very happy to be here."

His son, Mr Abdul Shariff Atan, 55, who lives in nearby Boon Lay, said: "It's definitely a better hospital that is accessible and easy to find with the MRT nearby."

Although NTFGH received its first inpatients from Alexandra Hospital yesterday, it will see the first patients at its clinics and Accident & Emergency department only from 8.30am today.

It's 30 June and we are open! We were up bright and early this morning to catch some behind-the-scenes of our staff...
Posted by JurongHealth on Monday, June 29, 2015

Ng Teng Fong hospital set to open with Big Move
3,000 staff shift there and to adjoining community hospital as Alexandra shuts
By Salma Khalik, Senior Health Correspondent, The Straits Times, 29 Jun 2015

THE new Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) opens its doors at 8.30am tomorrow, with 80 of its 120 specialist outpatient clinics and 365 of its 700 beds - each with its own window.

Its team of 3,000 staff, who had been running Alexandra Hospital which closes its doors today, will all move to the new premises, to run both the general hospital and the adjoining 400-bed Jurong Community Hospital.

Mr Foo Hee Jug, head of JurongHealth, which runs both hospitals, said: "The team has been working hard to thoroughly prepare the hospital to ensure that we care for our patients safely and confidently."

NTFGH's emergency department will start taking in patients from this morning, but only those who turn up at the hospital on their own. These are usually the less serious cases.

Ambulances answering emergencies from patients living or working nearby will continue to take them to other public hospitals such as the National University Hospital (NUH).

It will start taking ambulance cases only from August.

The hospital expects to treat a fair number of industrial accident cases, given the large industrial area nearby, including shipyards and oil refineries.

Ten of its 18 operation theatres will be ready for use from tomorrow. The rest of the beds, clinics and operation theatres will be gradually put into service as demand ramps up in the coming year.

Ms Lee Chiew Lan, the hospital's principal physiotherapist, said: "What was very heartening was seeing the JurongHealth team rallying together, juggling a busy clinical workload at Alexandra Hospital and at the same time, being involved in the preparation work at NTFGH.

"I am excited to see the ideas, innovations and hard work finally coming to fruition. This is the beginning of a new chapter of healthcare in the west and we are happy to be part of it."

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