Khoo Teck Puat Hospital



Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) is a public hospital located in Yishun and managed by Alexandra Health. The 3.4-hectare, 550-bed hospital cost an estimated S$700 million to build, and was opened in phases from March 2010.1 KTPH is part of a planned healthcare hub that will include a community hospital and medical centre in the future.2

Conception and construction
In October 2001, the government announced plans for a new general hospital in the north of Singapore. The hospital was slated to serve the growing population in Sembawang, Nee Soon and Hong Kah. Woodlands and Bukit Panjang were mooted as potential locations.3 During the general election later that month, the People’s Action Party’s candidate for Nee Soon East, Ho Peng Kee, said that he would lobby for the hospital to be built in Yishun and for it to be completed in three to four years.4 The Ministry of Health confirmed plans for the hospital in November 2001 and set a target of 2008 for its completion. After his election as member of parliament for Nee Soon East, Ho continued to lobby for the planned hospital to be sited in his ward and for its earlier completion.5

In 2003, the Ministry of Health reviewed its hospital building plans. As a result of this review, the ministry announced in March 2004 that the planned construction of Jurong General Hospital (which was initially to be completed in 2006)6 would be postponed while the hospital in the north would be constructed next. Then Minister for Health, Khaw Boon Wan confirmed the hospital would be sited in Yishun Central because of its centrality for the population clusters of Woodlands, Yishun and Sengkang, its proximity to Mass Rapid Transit stations and a bus interchange, as well as the availability of nearby land for any future expansion.7

The new hospital would take in staff from Alexandra Hospital, who had initially been slated to move to Jurong General Hospital, and its cost was estimated at S$400 million. With a targeted completion date of 2009, the new hospital’s design and construction came under the charge of Alexandra Hospital’s chief executive officer, Liak Teng Lit. Khaw’s vision for the hospital was for it to be a patient-centric and innovative one, and the planning team visited more than 30 top hospitals worldwide to collect ideas and best practices. A patient ‘flow’ system that promised quick, efficient treatment was first tested at Alexandra Hospital before its implementation at the new hospital.8

Construction of the new hospital began in November 2006, but suffered delays in early 2007 because of a nationwide shortage of sand and granite for concrete. The project’s total cost also rose to over S$700 million from the initial estimate of S$400 million, largely due to increased costs of building materials and labour.9 However, the hospital’s completion remained a matter of urgency in order to relieve overcrowding at other public hospitals, especially Tan Tock Seng Hospital.10

Naming and completion11
In May 2007, the family of the late hotelier and banker Khoo Teck Puat announced the donation of S$100 million towards the hospital’s building costs and an additional S$25 million for the welfare of patients in financial need. The hospital was named Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) in recognition of the contribution from his estate.


The completion of KTPH’s structure was marked by a topping-out ceremony in June 2009 and Alexandra Health, the public health group formed in 2008 to manage health services in the north, began equipping the new hospital and transferring staff from Alexandra Hospital to KTPH. The majority of Alexandra Hospital’s 1,700 staff moved to KTPH, and further recruitment brought its staff strength to around 2,100 at its opening.

Opening and operations
As part of a phased opening, KTPH opened its specialist outpatient clinics and day surgery operating theatres in March 2010.12 Among the medical services offered were dental, ear, nose and throat, eye, general surgery, cardiology, geriatric care, day surgery, endoscopy, radiology, and a diabetes centre.13 The hospital’s wards opened in June and began accepting patients that month. By the end of June, KTPH’s acute care and emergency (A&E) services had also begun treating patients.14


After its official opening in November, KTPH saw overwhelming demand for its A&E services and subsidised inpatient beds. By January 2011, the hospital experienced an average of 400 A&E patients daily and full occupation of its subsidised wards on most days.15 KTPH works to reduce the demand for its physical services through the use of remote services, such as its online A&E queue viewer which provides an estimate of patients’ waiting time before they arrive at the hospital. Other remote services include the online management of appointments and a remote doctor-patient consultation system.16

Design features
KTPH’s design incorporates energy-saving features such as wall-mounted fans which channel wind into the building and improve air flow, and window sunshades which re-direct natural light to reduce the hospital’s reliance on artificial lighting. KTPH also utilises solar power for part of its energy needs, and includes a pond and rooftop gardens within its layout.17 In 2011, the hospital won a gold award at the Building and Construction Authority’s Universal Design Awards for its accessible and user-friendly design.18


Organisational structure
KTPH is the only public hospital to have its own board of directors, which includes local corporate leaders from various industries. The board was formed with the vision of providing the hospital with strong corporate governance towards its aims of financial sustainability, service excellence and innovation. During the hospital’s construction, Khaw said the health ministry would allow KTPH flexibility to experiment with different service procedures and practices.19




Author

Lee Meiyu




References
1. Chowdhury, A. R. (2007, October 8). Govt to build 550-bed Yishun hospital. The Business Times, p. 9; Lee, H. C. (2007, May 3). Work on Yishun hospital picks up speed again. The Straits Times, p. 38; Salma Khalik & Chong, A. (2009, June 27). Health hub in north: 1st stage in place. The Straits Times, p. 41. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. (n.d.). Facts about Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. Retrieved 2011, September 27 from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital website: http://www.ktph.com.sg/main/iama_details/17; Lee, H. C. (2008, September 20). New health group to serve the north. The Straits Times, p. 98; Salma Khalik, & Chong, A. (2009, June 27). Health hub in north: 1st stage in place. The Straits Times, p. 41. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Hospital for north S’pore. (2001, October 15). The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. (2009). Annual report 2008/2009. Retrieved 2011, September 27 from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital website: http://www.ktph.com.sg/uploads/1310377514pr18042011_UDA.pdf
4. Quak, H. W. (2001, October 27). Ho Peng Kee to push for Yishun hospital. The Business Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Salma Khalik. (2001, November 22). Hospital up north ‘ready only in 2008’. The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Salma Khalik. (2001, November 22). Hospital up north ‘ready only in 2008’. The Straits Times, p. 6. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Salma Khalik, & Chong, A. (2009, June 27). Health hub in north: 1st stage in place. The Straits Times, p. 41. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Kan, L. (2006, May 5). ‘No run-around’ in new Yishun hospital. The Straits Times, p. 17; Lee, H. C. (2008, September 20). New health group to serve the north. The Straits Times, p. 96; Luo, S. (2007, May 17). New Yishun hospital named after tycoon Khoo Teck Puat. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Lee, H. C. (2007, May 3). Work on Yishun hospital picks up speed again. The Straits Times, p. 38. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. (2016). Facts about Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. Retrieved 2011, September 27 from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital website: http://www.ktph.com.sg/main/iama_details/17; Lee, H. C. (2007, May 3). Work on Yishun hospital picks up speed again. The Straits Times, p. 38; Ong, C. (2011, April 19). Yishun hospital wins gold for creative design. The Straits Times, p. 2; Salma Khalik. (2010, May 7). Yishun hospital wards to open next month. The Straits Times, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspapersSG.
11. Lee, H. C. (2007, October 8). To run a top public hospital, take 11 entrepreneurs and stir. The Straits Times, p. 24; Luo, S. (2007, May 17). New Yishun hospital named after tycoon Khoo Teck Puat. The Straits Times, p. 3; Lee, H. C. (2008, September 20). New health group to serve the north. The Straits Times, p. 96. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. (2016). Facts about Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. Retrieved 2011, September 27 from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital website: http://www.ktph.com.sg/main/iama_details/17  
13. New Yishun hospital to open first phase next Monday. (2010, March 25). Today, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14. Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. (2016). Facts about Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. Retrieved 2011, September 27 from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital website: http://www.ktph.com.sg/main/iama_details/17  
15. A&E units flooded with non-emergency cases. (2013). Retrieved 2016, November 30 from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital website: https://www.ktph.com.sg/mobile/news_details/86
16. Luo, S. (2007, May 17). New Yishun hospital named after tycoon Khoo Teck Puat. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17. Kan, L. (2006, May 5). ‘No run-around’ in new Yishun hospital. The Straits Times, p. H17. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. Ong, C. (2011, April 19). Yishun hospital wins gold for creative design. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved fNewspaperSG.
19. Lee, H. C. (2007, October 8). To run a top public hospital, take 11 entrepreneurs and stir. The Straits Times, p. 24; Chowdhury, A. R. (2007, October 8). Govt to build 550-bed Yishun hospital. The Business Times, p. 9. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2011 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic. 

Subject
Public health
Public hospitals--Singapore
Law and government>>Health services
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Public Buildings
Public buildings
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital---Singapore--History
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings
Politics and Government>>Health