Mr Leon Perera
MP for Aljunied GRC
Question No. 2662
To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the Government’s modelling for the expected hospital bed occupancy rates over the next five years; (b) what is the hospital bed occupancy rate it considers a safe upper limit; and (c) how does the Government derive this figure.
Based on MOH’s modelling, the annual average public hospital bed occupancy rate (BOR) over the next five years would be around 80%.
A sustained BOR of less than 85% in the hospitals is generally recommended by academic communities and the healthcare authorities overseas and here to ensure patient safety. Sustained BORs above the 85% threshold may increase the risk of poor clinical outcomes due to the reduced access to hospital care.
Based on our experience, operating with BOR less than 85% has allowed for hospitals to have sufficient bed capacity to respond to sudden increases in bed demands, for example during mass casualty situations and pandemics. While there may be temporary increases over the recommended annual average BOR of 85%, our public healthcare institutions have mitigated the risks by managing patient flows, introducing measures such as the use of telehealth technologies to reduce the need for in-person consultations and right-siting care into the community and ambulatory setting.