David E. Williams: Hello, this is David E. Williams, CEO MedTripInfo. Today I toured KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, a 900-bed tertiary care facility in Singapore. After a tour of the facility, which matches anything I’ve seen in the US in terms of physical plant and creature comforts, I sat down to speak with Chong Pik Wan, the hospital’s Director of International Medical Services, in order to learn more about KK’s OB and fertility services, and their relevance for medical travelers.
What’s the purpose of having women’s and children’s hospital together instead of just having one dedicated to women and one dedicated to children?
Pik Wan: Having a women’s and children’s hospital together allows us to meet the needs of women and children a lot more effectively. For instance our high risk pregnancies, all right, in some cases the children will be born with congenital deformities and would need special clinical care.
Therefore what happens is that very early on in the women’s pregnancy once we identify that the child is going to have particular difficulties, our obstetricians and pediatric surgeons start working together very closely. This allows parents to be informed of their options, to get advice on their treatment that needs to happen when the child is born and then for us to try and therefore create as good a clinical outcome as possible for their child and plan for this outcome even before the child is born.
David: What are some of the differences in how obstetrics is practiced in Singapore compared to Europe or the United States? Are there any meaningful differences like natural child birth or vaginal birth after Cesarean? Any different approaches?
Pik Wan: I don’t think that there are serious differences between childbirth practices in Singapore and Europe or in the US. I think where we may be right now is that probably at KK Women’s and Children’s hospital we tend to be a little bit more careful in terms of deliveries. Now a large part of that is because we are a tertiary referral center and for high risk pregnancies. And therefore you would find at this point of time we do not have water birth.
So we are very particular in that sense because we haven’t seen clearly documented evidence that water births actually have a better outcome and so on. So you will find out that in the KK Hospital we do not do water birth at this point in time. So in that sense, doctors will actually want to see the evidence before they go into this method of childbirth.
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