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HomesingaporeNational Skin Centre opens new building to address ‘evolving’ health needs

National Skin Centre opens new building to address ‘evolving’ health needs

SINGAPORE: The National Skin Centre (NSC) on Wednesday (Oct 25) officially opened a new building more than double the size of its former premises, and is expected to accommodate a 30 per cent increase in annual attendance by 2030. 

The redeveloped centre, at Mandalay Road in the Novena area, aims to address the “diverse and evolving” skin health needs of Singapore’s population, said the National Skin Centre in a media release. 

According to a 2019 study, skin and subcutaneous diseases were the eighth leading cause in Singapore of non-fatal disease burden for years lived in disability – referring to years of healthy life lost due to disability.

“The incidence of chronic skin diseases would inevitably rise in tandem with our rapidly ageing population,” said National Skin Centre director Professor Tan Suat Hoon, adding that elderly patients are also more likely to have more than one medical condition at the same time and require complex care.

“Singapore’s higher life expectancy would lead to increased cumulative lifetime sun exposure, thus resulting in an upward trend of skin cancers among those of advanced age.

“The new building’s expanded facilities will enable NSC to better care for this vulnerable segment of our population,” said Prof Tan.

The 10-storey building, with a floor area of 25,300 sq m, has been operational since June. It also has 69 consultation rooms, up from 40.

“Such growth is necessary, given that NSC manages about 70 per cent of overall outpatient dermatology attendances among public healthcare institutions,” the centre said in a media release. It had about 280,000 outpatient attendances in 2022.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the new National Skin Centre will also provide enhanced dermatological training at multiple levels, from undergraduate to post-graduate.

“With Healthier SG, we expect primary care doctors to also play an increasing role in managing common skin conditions,” he added, referring to the national preventive care programme.

“Like all other diseases, there is much we can do to protect our skin to prevent the onset of skin diseases.

“This includes simple things – using sunblock, having the right diet, and moisturising our skin regularly,” Mr Ong said.

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NEW CLINICS, SPACES

The redeveloped NSC building houses a new allergy and therapy clinic, where patients can receive intravenous (IV) medications without having to be referred to an inpatient hospital. 

The facilities also allow for patients with suspected allergies to IV drugs to be evaluated in a safe and comfortable environment, said the National Skin Centre

A new research clinic will also facilitate clinical trials, while the National Skin Centre’s phototherapy resources have been expanded by around 30 per cent.

And a new Ultraviolet A1 phototherapy cabin reduces treatment time for patients suffering from conditions such as eczema, scleroderma and mycosis fungoides.

In the new building, designated spaces sit next to consultation rooms for residents, nurses and pharmacists to co-manage cases alongside doctors, to provide better-coordinated care.

The redevelopment of the National Skin Centre is part of a HealthCity Novena master plan aiming to integrate health services, research, education and public areas. 

NSC’s new building is among developments planned in the first phase, which includes the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine’s Clinical Sciences Building, National Centre for Infectious Diseases, Ng Teng Fong Centre for Healthcare Innovation and Tan Tock Seng Hospital Integrated Care Hub.

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