Stealth Health

Wong Sweet Fun, Chief Transformation Officer at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, talks about the essential elements that must come together in a healing environment.

Text by Charlene Chan
Photography by Jovian Lim

Alighting at the taxi stand at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), one is greeted by a wide, open plaza, shaded on one end by a grove of trees. Ample seating is placed throughout the thoroughfare, some of which appear to be occupied by casual exercisers tucking into a post-run breakfast. It is decidedly not the typical hospital scene one would expect; rather, the first floor of KTPH is a sort of gathering space that’s become part of the daily experience for the surrounding community.

Sweet Fun explains that leaving the first floor of the hospital accessible was an intentional decision. “When you build a building, there is lost opportunity to the community…the design of KTPH is such that we don’t put services on the ground, and open it for people to move in and out.” Instead, services and clinics begin on the second floor, the location of each one planned precisely to promote patient centricity. “On Level 4, there are geriatric, diabetes and eye clinics. A lot of eye evaluation is needed for diabetes patients…[while] seniors tend to have eye problems like cataracts. The different clinics are arranged according to need, especially for those people who come looking for a mix of services.”

Read more in the Design Dialogue Document here