More women going through highrisk
pregnancies have been receiving
care at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), thanks to its four
joint clinics that treat diseases such
as diabetes and heart conditions.
The hospital has helped women
save time by letting them see doctors
from the obstetrics and gynaecology
and diabetes departments in
the same consultation, instead of
having to make separate visits. This
was started in 1995.
Over the years, the hospital expanded
the joint clinics to the cardiology,
rheumatology and haematology
departments, said Associate
Professor Tan Hak Koon, who
heads SGH’s obstetrics and gynaecology
department. The rheumatology
joint clinic was added in 2015
and the haematology joint clinic
last year. These led partly to higher
figures released on Monday, which
show that the number of patients at
the joint clinics rose by half from
280 in 2013 to 420 last year.
The hospital sees 2,800 pregnancies
a year on average. While the
number of babies born at SGH was a
fraction of the total of 39,615 births
last year, the hospital helps to handle
cardiology and rheumatology
cases referred by other maternity
Diabetes remains the most common
condition seen at the joint clinics,
with more than one-fifth of
pregnant women seeking help for it
last year, followed by cardiac conditions
which one-tenth of the
women suffered from.
A subsidised joint consultation
costs $78, which is double the cost
of a consultation with one doctor.
Other maternity hospitals here
have their own set-up to treat highrisk
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
runs obstetric clinics for highrisk
pregnancies, where patients are
managed by a team of specialists.
The hospital sees an average of
11,500 babies delivered each year.
At the National University Hospital,
which handles an average of
4,200 pregnancies each year, its
obstetrics and gynaecology department
has three types of clinics to
manage high-risk pregnancy
Clerk Winnie Tan, 31, benefited
from SGH’s joint clinic scheme
when she was expecting her first
child three years ago.
Ms Tan, born with two holes in
her heart, was told she had an 80
per cent risk of miscarriage. “I was
getting too breathless and couldn’t
walk 16 weeks into my pregnancy
and had to be admitted to the hospital.”
But supervision from the cardiology
joint-clinic doctors enabled
her to deliver a healthy boy at 26
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