Ang Mo Kio–Thye Hua Kwan Hospital


Ang Mo Kio–Thye Hua Kwan Hospital is a community hospital established in June 1993 to serve the rehabilitative needs of the community, particularly the elderly. Providing mainly rehabilitation and geriatric care, the hospital is home to Singapore's first acupuncture clinic set in a hospital. It is also one of a few step-down care hospitals. Step down care involves a patient being moved to a different level of care as his or her condition improves. The hospital aims to nurture patients to become self-reliant and assists them in regaining as much of their independence as possible by developing a tailored rehabilitation plan for every patient.


History
In 1993, the government established the Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital as a part of its efforts to lower healthcare costs, especially for the elderly, by setting up community hospitals. Construction of the hospital was completed in January 1993. The hospital does not provide acute care facilities and instead has rehabilitation services, day-care and a medical centre for the elderly. The hospital is situated in a residential heartland surrounded by Housing and Development Board flats and condominiums, ensuring that medical facilities are within easy reach of the general population. Built at a cost of S$40 million, the hospital is home to 10 clinics, all of which are outpatient clinics rented out to different physicians and specialists. 


From 1 April 2002, the hospital was taken over from SingHealth by the Thye Huan Kwan Moral Society and renamed Ang Mo Kio–Thye Hua Kwan Hospital. The change came in line with the government's plans to get voluntary welfare organisations to run step-down care institutions in Singapore. 

Description and facilities
The hospital's main services include rehabilitation facilities for recuperating patients, medical care facilities for patients requiring specialised care or investigations, respite care for patients at home and a day hospital for the elderly, who make up 70 percent of the patients. Needy patients can receive additional subsidies over and above government subsidies. Beyond rehabilitation care, the hospital helps patients to reintegrate into society as smoothly as possible after discharge. Before a patient is discharged, a care team conducts house and community visits to understand the patient's social and physical needs. Based on the team’s assessment, the patients are linked with neighbourhood social services and activity groups to encourage them to continue leading active lives. The team also makes home assessments and install equipment such as assistive bars and ramps for needy patients to ensure that they return to a safe and elderly-friendly environment. The hospital's home therapy services includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. In addition to inpatient and outpatient services, the hospital also conducts health talks and workshops aimed at educating the community on preventive care and to share tips on management of chronic conditions. 

In 2000, the hospital opened a centre for those with speech disabilities, called the Centre for Alternative and Augmentative Communication. This centre uses tools, ranging from simple machines to sophisticated Lightwriters, to help people with speech problems communicate in other ways. Patients are also allowed to have the machines on loan. Singapore's first acupuncture clinic to be located in a hospital was opened there in 1995. Run by trained Chinese acupuncturists, they treat patients for aches, pains and dysfunction resulting from strokes. The Acupuncture Research Clinic mainly treats patients referred by government and restructured hospitals and clinics. In 2003, the hospital became the first private hospital to put up isolation wards for patients recovering from severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. This halfway house for post-SARS patients helped to ease the load on government hospitals. 

Milestones
1993:
 Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital established by the government.

2002: Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society takes over the hospital from SingHealth; hospital is renamed Ang Mo Kio–Thye Hua Kwan Hospital. 
2003: First private hospital to put up isolation wards for patients recovering from SARS.
2012: Traditional Chinese medicine services launched; capacity increased by 51 beds to 251 (including negative pressure isolation room).
2013: Sunshine Corner opens, providing care for dementia patients; Healing Hub opens.
2014: New South Wing opens, increasing capacity by 110 beds to 360.


Address
Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital, 17 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9, Singapore 569766.
Website: www.amkh.com.sg



Author
Naidu Ratnala Thulaja




References 
Further care for discharged patients. (2002, April 2). The Straits Times.


Gadgets galore for the disabled at 2 centres. (2000, September 28). The Straits Times, p. 50.

Govt to operate new hospital at Ang Mo Kio. (1993, April 13). The Straits Times, p. 20.

'Halfway house' care at Ang Mo Kio hospital. (2003, May 2). The Straits Times.

Hospital care for patients at home. (1997, March 27). The Straits Times, p. 35.

Kan, G. (1993, December 18). Hospital's patients mostly elderly and aged over 70. The Straits Times, p. 30.

Leong, C. C. (1995, September 15). Acupuncture Research Clinic opens. The Straits Times, p. 27.

Pereira, B. (1993, April 14). New hospital offers new class of ward. The Straits Times, p. 24.

Wee, L. (1999, August 16). They're puncturing the myth. The Straits Times, Life!, pp. 1-2. 

VWOs to run Ang Mo Kio hospital. (2001, December 11). The Straits Times, p. 6.


 

The information in this article is valid as at 2014 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
Health and medicine>>Health services
Streets and Places
Hospitals--Singapore
Organisations
Rehabilitation centers--Singapore
Community and Social Services
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings
Politics and Government>>Health

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