Singapore

SGH Burn Centre opens after 15-month upgrading

The upgraded Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Burn Centre opened yesterday as the Ministry of Health (MOH) also announced plans to redevelop the burns capability at other hospitals here.

The SGH Burn Centre, which was first opened in 1962, now features a modular design that allows either side of the facility to be closed off during a mass burns incident to reduce the risk of cross-contamination between patients.

The centre, which underwent $6 million, 15-month upgrading works in phases, also has two operating theatres with a custom-built climate control system that creates a low-humidity environment to prevent bacteria growth in patients, and maintains a warm temperature to lower their risk of hypothermia due to extensive skin destruction or loss.

Senior Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min said at the opening of the centre: "While we continue to dedicate resources to improve clinical outcomes and support public education and prevention programmes, it is also important to build up capabilities, capacity and research efforts to ensure that our healthcare teams remain well equipped to manage episodic cases as well as major incidents with a high number of casualties with burn injuries."

Dr Lam was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 12th Asia Pacific Burn Congress held at Academia on the SGH campus. More than 500 local and overseas practitioners and experts from 22 countries will be participating in the three-day programme.

The improved facilities at the SGH Burn Centre - which is the major burns referral centre for South-east Asia - will enable it to cater to current and anticipated needs, as well as respond more readily during mass burns incidents, said Professor Fong Kok Yong, deputy group chief executive (medical and clinical services) of SingHealth.

Dr Lam said MOH plans to redevelop the burns capability in other hospitals, such as KK Women's and Children's Hospital, to improve Singapore's overall systems capacity for burns management.

The ministry will also be supporting cross training among healthcare institutions and overseas attachments so that staff can familiarise themselves with burns protocols.

MEDICAL & HEALTH