Long Stayers in restructured hospitals

12 August 2013

Question No. 1345

Name of Person:  Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef

 

Question

To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the current number of chronic long stayers in the restructured hospitals; (b) what has been their average duration of stay; and (c) what is the progress in trying to get them placed in intermediate to long-term care facilities.

 

Answer

1.                 As of 19 July 2013, there are 645 patients in the restructured hospitals who have stayed for more than 21 days.  These patients currently occupy approximately 10% of the beds in service in the hospitals.

2.                 Of these 645 patients, 364 (or 56%) are not yet fit for discharge and still need to receive medical care in the acute hospitals.  Of the remaining 281 patients, about two out of three are awaiting placement or transfer to nursing homes or community hospitals for further care, and the rest would include patients who are awaiting care-giver arrangement and training before their discharge.  

3.                 MOH works closely with the hospitals to provide the necessary support, so that patients can be discharged and recuperate in the comfort of their own homes.  For example, we have recently introduced a pilot interim caregiver service by the Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society for patients of Changi General Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital earlier this year. This service provides temporary help of two weeks for patients who are fit to go home but whose discharge may be delayed while they work out their long-term care-giving arrangements (for example, waiting for the foreign domestic worker to arrive).  In addition, there are also Aged Care TransitION (ACTION) care coordinators in each hospital to help newly discharged patients and families which may need help adjusting to the new care needs of the patients.

4.                 Changi General Hospital, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital have also started a transitional care service where doctors and nurses visit the patients at their home in the immediate post-discharge period for those who may need medical follow-up.

5.                 For stable patients who are unable to be cared for in the home setting, the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) works closely with our hospitals to facilitate their transfer to step-down care facilities such as nursing homes. As a result of the collective efforts by the hospitals, AIC, MOH and nursing home providers, the number of patients who have been successfully matched to a nursing home has nearly doubled from 1,185 in 2010 to 2,100 in 2012.

6.                 MOH is building more nursing homes and community hospitals to meet the increase in demand.  By the end of this year, 700 more nursing home beds will come on-stream, with another about 3,000 nursing home beds being added by 2016.  By 2020, the number of community hospital beds will increase by 1,900 beds, more than tripling the 800 community hospital beds today.

 

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