Here’s when, and only when, to go A&E


Please don’t anyhow ambulance.

Seriously, not everything is an emergency.

And if it’s not an emergency, will be blunt here: go A&E also no use. See GP better. Faster; don’t have to wait.

That’s because A&E medical professionals know what to do. They’ll prioritise. Long story short, when you go to the A&E for sprains, minor injuries, minor abdominal pain, vomiting, rashes, mild headaches or long-term problems, you will wait very long.

And your A&E visit will be expensive. More if you call an ambulance when it’s a non-emergency. Then, an SCDF ambulance ride will cost you $274.

Really, the A&E is for when you’ve (touch wood) a heart attack, chest pains, a major traffic accident, serious burns, respiratory collapse, injuries from falls, and asthma or other breathing problems.

The medical professionals will prioritise you over other cases if so.

This system is for everyone’s benefit.

Yours, your fellow citizens who really need life-saving medical aid and our hard-working healthcare workers.

Take a deep breath

These healthcare workers are important, and need rest too.

The standard of care for everyone lowers when these workers have insufficient rest.  

And illnesses are normally not emergencies. Even if it’s Covid.

Case in point: In early February this year, there were over 650 children coming in daily to the Children’s Emergency departments at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and National University Hospital.

This was up from around 450 children daily in early January.

“Approximately 80 per cent of the patients, including those with Covid-19 infections, presented with mild symptoms, did not require hospitalisation, and were discharged after their ED visits,” noted the Ministry of Health (MOH) at that time.

And most of those who were admitted were discharged quickly, within two or three days.

Really, the Government keeps massive stocks of Covid vaccines for everyone, and they are safe for the little ones too.

It’s a better idea to get your children vaccinated than spending time at A&E.

So, please don’t panic. Please don’t hurry to the Emergency Department (ED) the moment something goes wrong.

Doing our part

“Our clusters have explained the various steps they have been taking to reduce the workload at the EDs,” said Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung at an event celebrating HMI Institute‘s 20th anniversary at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital this Monday (Oct 31).

“They are working with MOH closely and we are doing whatever we can to ease the workload.”

These measures include encouraging non-emergency cases to consult neighborhood clinics or Urgent Care Centres instead of EDs.

They also include discharging patients who do not need hospital care to a stepped-down care facility.

“We can all do our part to help our healthcare workers by attending ED only during emergencies and taking our Covid-19 vaccines,” explained Minister Ong.

“Once we take our vaccines, if we are infected, we are much less likely to be severely ill and requiring ED services.”

So, please take a deep breath (and also your vaccination) and be certain that you need the A&E/ ED before heading there.

Cover photo credit: CGH