sda ng teng fong general hospital

Time to Cull the Overpaid “Influencers” in Our Public Healthcare Leadership

Dear Friends,

The SDA has long been calling for the government to cut extravagant spending on grandiose projects, and use public funds practically and prudently to improve the lives of Singaporeans.

One such example we’ve cited in our 2020 manifesto is the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.

While some Ministers choose to spend their time prancing around in Tik Tok videos, Straits Times Senior Health Correspondent Salma Khalik bravely dove deeper to find out more about the woes of the public healthcare system.

The existing state of affairs is saddening.

What’s worse, according to doctors and nurses, is the problems have been around for years and appear to be getting worse.

Behind the fancy façade of the new Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, the median wait time for a bed was around 22 hours in September this year, and 25 hours in August.

That also means half of all patients admitted to the hospital’s Emergency Department that needed to be warded had to wait longer than one day for a bed.

Medical staff at Changi General Hospital say that patients in the Emergency Department are “stacked like sardines”, to the point where providing treatment is difficult.

Sometimes, two nurses have to juggle over fifty patients.

There is no privacy, patients cannot rest well, family members cannot visit them, and hygiene is questionable because they cannot shower and have scarce access to a bathroom.

Meanwhile, at some other public hospitals, the Emergency Department is hit by a bed crunch so bad that patients sometimes have to be treated on ambulance stretchers.

What would you do, if it were your loved one who was caught in such a situation?

The gloom doesn’t stop there.

Public hospitals are simultaneously facing a healthcare workers crunch.

So even if there were enough beds, existing doctors and nurses are already overstretched to the point of burnout.

Again, these are not new issues – they have been around for years and left unremedied.

There has been more than enough lead time for the Ministry of Health to tackle the problem and improve the plight of Singaporeans.

Or, at least, prevent things from getting worse.

If only political leaders helming our public healthcare system spent less time showboating on social media and less public money on decorative facades that cannot pass stress tests when it comes to crunch time.

Looking at the current state of affairs, they’re simply no different from overpaid influencers and should be replaced by leaders who truly have a heart for the people.

Desmond Lim
Singapore Democratic Alliance

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