The upcoming Woodlands Health Campus (WHC) – the first hospital in Woodlands and one of six listed “star attractions” in the proposed revamp of the estate – is set to open progressively from 2022 and expected to raise the bar for healthcare in Singapore.

Described by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong as a key component of the ministry’s Healthcare 2020 masterplan, the new campus will serve the increasing number of residents in the north, along with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and Yishun Community Hospital (YCH).

New health campus set to serve increasing number of residents


The 1,800-bed campus located along Woodlands Drive 17 will span an area over 7.66 hectares, roughly comparable to the size of 11 football fields, and serve over 935,000 residents. It will include a general hospital, a community hospital, specialist clinics as well as daycare facilities for the elderly, and will be the first where both acute and community hospitals are built together, allowing for better integrated and seamless transfer of care.

"It will enable patients to be treated and rehabilitated effectively in the appropriate setting so that they can return home to their loved ones as soon as possible,” said Gan, who touted WHC as a pioneer of the next generation of healthcare facilities.

Woodlands Healthcare Campus will open progressively from 2022. Photo credit: TNP Graphics
Woodlands Healthcare Campus will open progressively from 2022. Photo credit: TNP Graphics

One of the key focus of WHC would be to “enable patients who require long–term rehabilitation to get through the acute hospital system quicker, and transfer them to community hospital, and then possibly on to rehabilitation much faster,” said Dr Jason Cheah, chair of the WHC Pro-Tem committee.

“We link the various parts of the campus together so that they are clustered in one area,” he also said, adding that WHC plans to work with other community providers and partners to offer patients better alternatives to hospitalisation.

The new campus will also feature a 1.5 hectare “Healing Forest Garden” with open spaces for exercise, community gardening plots and quiet areas. The serene space is a purpose-built park for patient healing and was designed by the National Parks Board with specially chosen plants and landscaping.  There will also be specially designed “Therapeutic Gardens” to help patients with early rehabilitation, as well as a “Dementia Garden”.

Better patient care driven by technology

The campus has to be “future ready” to meet the increasing demands of healthcare from an ageing population, according to Gan. WHC will be driven by smart technology, enabling fewer staff to care for patients and ultimately improving quality of patient care in the face of workforce constraints.

For instance, automated ordering of medication will allow healthcare professionals to focus on their clinical and direct patient roles, while robotics will automate other services such as housekeeping and central sterile supplies unit. Clinicians can also make use of artificial intelligence to improve diagnostic accuracy and provide better, more affordable care.  

Other forms of technology include the use of electronic wristbands akin to smart watches, which will allow nurses to monitor each patient’s vital signs, activity and location. Meanwhile, telehealth services enable patients to access hospital services, such as registration and payment, from their own homes.

“Each time we build a new healthcare facility, it presents a precious opportunity to innovate and reinvent the way we deliver healthcare,” Gan said, encouraging the WHC team to "take the opportunity to develop new care models to enable the shift towards greater community-based care". MIMS

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