Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a tertiary care public hospital in Singapore: resources and economic costs.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted hospitals to respond with stringent measures. Accurate estimates of costs and resources used in outbreaks can guide evaluations of responses. We report on the financial expenditure associated with COVID-19, the bed-days used for COVID-19 patients and hospital services displaced due to COVID-19 in a Singapore tertiary hospital. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cost analysis from January to December 2020 in the largest public hospital in Singapore. Costs were estimated from the hospital perspective. We examined financial expenditures made in direct response to COVID-19; hospital admissions data related to COVID-19 inpatients; and the number of outpatient and emergency department visits, non-emergency surgeries, inpatient days in 2020, compared with preceding years of 2018 and 2019. Bayesian time-series was used to estimate the magnitude of displaced services. RESULTS: USD $41.96 million was incurred in the hospital for COVID-19-related expenses. Facilities set-up and capital assets accounted for 51.6% of the expenditure; patient-care supplies comprised 35.1%. Of the 19,611 inpatients tested for COVID-19 in 2020, 727 (3.7%) had COVID-19. The total inpatient- and intensive care unit (ICU)-days for COVID-19 patients in 2020 were 8009 and 8 days, respectively. A decline in all hospital services was observed from February following a raised disease outbreak alert level; most services quickly resumed when the lockdown was lifted in June. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 led to an increase in healthcare expenses and a displacement in hospital services. Our findings are useful for informing economic evaluations of COVID-19 response and provide some information about the expected costs of future outbreaks.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cai, Y; Kwek, S; Tang, SSL; Saffari, SE; Lum, E; Yoon, S; Ansah, JP; Matchar, DB; Kwa, AL; Ang, KA; Thumboo, J; Ong, MEH; Graves, N

Published Date

  • March 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 121 /

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 8

PubMed ID

  • 34902499

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8664721

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-2939

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jhin.2021.12.007


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England