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Singapore’s Hospitals Remain Vigilant Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

Maintaining Surge Capacity to Ensure Adequate Care for All Patients

Singapore’s hospitals are closely monitoring the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and are prepared to increase their capacity if needed, according to statements from the National University Health System (NUHS) and SingHealth on December 11th, 2023.

Rising Caseload and Hospital Workload

The Ministry of Health (MOH) reports a significant rise in COVID-19 infections over the past two weeks, with estimated cases reaching 32,035 in the week of November 26th to December 2nd, compared to 22,094 cases the week prior. While the number of hospitalizations and ICU cases remains lower than during previous pandemic peaks, the increase in infections has undoubtedly added pressure to already busy hospitals.

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NUHS: Ready to Respond with Surge Capacity

NUHS, which oversees the National University Hospital, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, and Alexandra Hospital, is closely monitoring the situation and maintaining surge capacity within its inpatient facilities, including intensive care and isolation units. The spokesperson emphasized their commitment to optimize resources and adjust their response to address evolving needs effectively.

Stable ICU Numbers and Uninterrupted Elective Procedures

NUHS reports stable daily COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU case numbers across their three hospitals. Importantly, elective procedures remain unaffected, ensuring continued access to essential medical care for non-COVID-19 patients.

SingHealth: Well-Prepared for Potential Capacity Expansion

SingHealth, operating several hospitals, national specialty centers, and polyclinics, echoes the commitment to vigilance and preparedness for any escalation in Singapore’s COVID-19 situation. SingHealth deputy group CEO, Professor Fong Kok Yong, confirmed that their hospitals are well-equipped to increase capacity if necessary.

Active Measures for Efficient Hospital Management

Professor Fong, who leads SingHealth’s medical and clinical services division, highlighted active measures implemented to optimize hospital capacity. These include same-day admissions, increased utilization of day surgeries, and initiatives to reduce the length of stay, such as pre-operative rehabilitation and post-surgery mobilization programs.

NUHS: Redeploying Manpower and Utilizing Alternative Care Options

NUHS is prepared to redeploy and increase manpower to support high attendance at its emergency departments if required. The spokesperson emphasized the importance of triage, with senior emergency physicians reviewing cases for admission to ensure appropriate right-siting and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.

NUHS also offers alternative arrangements for appropriate cases, including the NUHS@Home recovery program, teleconsultation, tele-rehabilitation, tele-monitoring, remote prescribing, and medication delivery.

Public Cooperation and Emergency Department Utilization

The NUHS spokesperson requests public understanding regarding potentially longer waiting times at emergency departments. Priority will be given to patients with serious conditions who require hospitalization, ensuring efficient utilization of resources and timely care for those in critical need.

The spokesperson further emphasizes that only individuals experiencing serious or life-threatening emergencies should visit the emergency department, enabling faster response times for critical cases and preserving hospital capacity for those requiring acute care. For non-urgent cases, the spokesperson encourages the public to visit general practitioners or 24-hour clinics.


Singapore’s hospitals are actively monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation and are prepared to adjust their response as needed. By implementing robust surge capacity plans, optimizing resource management, and encouraging appropriate healthcare utilization, Singapore’s healthcare system remains committed to delivering high-quality care to all patients.


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