Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Tour - Alvinology

Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Tour

A hospital in an ICU room in Mount Elizabeth Novena
A hospital in an ICU room in Mount Elizabeth Novena

I know most people will find it strange to tour a hospital when you are not sick or getting admitted, but that was precisely what I did a month back.

I was invited by the cool staff from Mount Elizabeth Hospital Group to visit their hospital in Novena for a tour, followed by a cardio test and lunch with the hospital’s COO and other management staff.

It was pretty informative and interesting actually.

Mount Elizabeth Hospital Group is Asia Pacific’s leading medical hub for over 30 years. They currently have two locations in Singapore, at Orchard and Novena. I still remember going to their Orchard hospital to get my braces fixed every month when I was still a teen.

Scale model of Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
Scale model of Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

There are many experienced specialists in the Mount Elizabeth Hospital Group. This include some of the best cardiac surgeons and neurosurgeon specialists in the region. The 333 single-bedded Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital is Singapore’s first purpose-built private sector hospital in the last 30 years. The hospital offer clinical expertise, modern medical technology and operational excellence to provide local and international patients with added comfort, greater privacy and quick access to quality healthcare. More details are available via the official website.

When designing and building the hospital at Novena, a lot of attention went into crafting an overall, positive and relaxing hospital experience.

When you hear the word “hospital”, what are the images which immediately come to your mind? Needles? Operating theatres? Scary doctors and medical staff in their white garbs?

Mount Elizabeth Novena tries to change that by designing the hospital to feel more like a hotel than a hospital:

The spacious reception area where you will not see medical staff dashing around as they use another walkway
The spacious reception area where you will not see medical staff dashing around as they use another walkway
Entering into one of the wards
Entering into one of the wards
Reception area in the ward
Reception area in the ward
Maternity ward
Maternity ward
The nursery
The nursery
All rooms are single-bed, like this one
All rooms are single-bed, like this one
The room windows are tilted at an angle so as the get the best sunlight without it being overly harsh
The room windows are tilted at an angle so as the get the best sunlight without it being overly harsh
Electronic device to control the room's settings
Electronic device to control the room’s settings
Air-conditioning and other remotes
Air-conditioning and other remotes
Sofa, work desk and TV
Sofa, work desk and TV
If you are wondering why there seems to be no medical equipment in the room, they are all hidden behind false walls like this one
If you are wondering why there seems to be no medical equipment in the room, they are all hidden behind false walls like this one
The remote to get assistance is kept simple with very clear buttons
The remote to get assistance is kept simple with very clear buttons
Attached bathroom in each room
Attached bathroom in each room
The bathroom is deliberately located near to the bed so the patient do not have to walk far
The bathroom is deliberately located near to the bed so the patient do not have to walk far
The delivery suite
The delivery suite
Waiting area in the operations rooms
Waiting area in the operations rooms
Reception
Reception

Of the 333 beds in the hospital, there are 37 Deluxe Rooms, 8 Junior Suites and  3 Regal Suites for those who want to experience a more private and exclusive stay. I did a tour in one of the Regal Suite which cost around S$10,000 a night:

The bed area
The bed area
Room control and the phone
Room control and the phone
Automated toilet bowl
Automated toilet bowl
Bathroom
Bathroom
Kitchen sink
Kitchen sink
Another sink
Another sink
TV lounge area
TV lounge area
Hidden wirings and medical equipment behind false walls
Hidden wirings and medical equipment behind false walls
Dining area
Dining area

There are also 40 Intensive Care Unit beds, 20 Day Surgery beds, 13 Operating Rooms inclusive of Hybrid Theatre and 5 Endoscopy Rooms:

ICU ward
ICU ward
Inside an ICU room
Inside an ICU room
There are large windows in the ICU rooms too
There are large windows in the ICU rooms too
Equipment in the ICU bed
Equipment in the ICU bed
Flood light that is easy on the patient
Flood light that is easy on the patient
Mood lighting in the room that is adjusted for the patient's best comfort
Mood lighting in the room that is adjusted for the patient’s best comfort

After the hospital tour, I went for a cardio check-up. The doctor I met said it is a recommended routine health check which should be done especially for regular marathon runners or those who like to engage in heavy cardio exercises. The check was fairly simple and efficient. I was strapped with a few wires and asked to run on a thread mill for about ten minutes while my heart rates were monitored:

The thread mill and machine for the cardio check
The thread mill and machine for the cardio check
A nurse wires me up
A nurse wires me up
Chatting with the super cool and friendly cardio doctor at Mount Elizabeth Novena
Chatting with the super cool and friendly cardio doctor at Mount Elizabeth Novena
Getting ready for the run
Getting ready for the run
The doctor explaining how it works
The doctor explaining how it works
Ready
Ready
Brisk walking while chatting
Brisk walking while chatting
Completed
Completed
Results
Results

My results were normal and I am glad I am healthy. I am cleared to run a marathon, not that it appeals to me!

Interestingly, the cost may not be as prohibitive as what most of us think to opt for a private hospital versus a government-restructured hospital, especially if you opt for their private services at the latter. One key advantage of going to a private hospital like Mount Elizabeth is the cut in waiting time for an appointment. At Mount Elizabeth, you can make an appointment to see a specialist in just 48 hours.

Apparently, 66% of Medishield users are covered by private integrated shield plans, but we barely take notice and usually just opt for a government hospital by default on the first visit.

Average bill size at Mouth Elizabeth is at S$20,400 (for heart stenting or an angioplasty procedure). If you have a private integrated shield plan with rider, this amount can be fully reimbursed.  Without rider, you end up paying around S$5,910.

Any way, the point here is that we should really check out our own medical insurance plans properly and make the best use of it in the event when we might need to be hospitalised.  The Singapore government is debating on healthcare in parliament now and it is a good time to pay attention to the news. Why deny yourself of a faster or better healthcare experience when you actually can or do have access to it? 🙂

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