5th Oct 2020
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Dr Lim Wee Kiak
MP for Sembawang GRC
Question No. 83
To ask the Minister for Health what is the progress on developing the Woodlands Health Campus and whether this has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Singapore’s construction industry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is due to disruptions to international supply chains and construction manpower availability, and the implementation of the Circuit Breaker from April to June this year, which led to the suspension of most construction activities during that period.
2. While construction works at our healthcare development sites have gradually resumed since the Circuit Breaker measures were lifted in June, they have not reached the pre-COVID pace as the resumption of work needs to be done in a safe and controlled manner and in phases to minimise the risk of new COVID-19 outbreaks. Based on our current assessment, these disruptions may result in delays by up to a year or so for many of our healthcare infrastructure projects. This includes Woodlands Health Campus (WHC), which was originally scheduled to progressively open from 2022.It is now scheduled to open from 2023 instead.
3. Similarly, the Tan Tock Seng Hospital Integrated Care Hub and the Singapore General Hospital Emergency Medicine Building are now expected to open one year later in 2023 and 2024 respectively. The new polyclinics in Eunos, Kallang and Bukit Panjang, which were originally planned to open by end-2020, are now expected to open by end-2021.
4. As the COVID-19 situation is evolving and construction works are still ramping up progressively, we can expect further changes in the timelines for the completion of our healthcare facilities.
5. These delays in the completion of our public healthcare infrastructure projects may have an impact on overall healthcare capacity in the short term. MOH is thus exploring other measures to expand capacity within our existing facilities, and to reduce the demand on our public healthcare institutions, for example through the promotion of telemedicine and community-based care options.