Skip the long wait at Singapore’s clinics with this new booking app

At left, a promotional image for health care app ‘Ouch,’ and queues outside the Little Cross Family Clinic in Tampines in June 2021. Images: Ouch, TinGle/YouTube
At left, a promotional image for health care app ‘Ouch,’ and queues outside the Little Cross Family Clinic in Tampines in June 2021. Images: Ouch, TinGle/YouTube

A new app is helping Singapore cut the line and skip lengthy waits at clinics to alleviate the pressure and abuse heaped on health care workers.

With the government now referring non-urgent cases to general practitioners, health care app Ouch+ is reducing waits and minimizing COVID exposure risks by letting users schedule appointments instead of showing up and camping outside.  

The app can be used at more than 100 facilities including GPs, dental, veterinary and traditional Chinese medicine clinics. 

Users can check wait times, which are updated live, and be notified once it’s their turn. There are no booking fees and bills can be paid in the app itself, saving more precious minutes and needless headaches.

Also, the app lets people compare prices and clinic locations.

The app has close to 10,000 downloads so far, according to its announcement.

Singapore is struggling to retain health care workers. Thousands quit last year due to fatigue, a lack of breaks, and low compensation. 

The Ministry of Health yesterday advised the public to visit general practitioners instead of emergency rooms for non-life-threatening emergencies. They said they saw a “high number” of patients seeking emergency help, especially for younger Singaporeans, more than 650 of whom visited the ER each day, on average. Four-in-five had mild symptoms and were quickly discharged.

There’s also been a surge in walk-in patients since the Chinese New Year holiday started last week. Close to a thousand clinics remained open during the holidays, with long queues spotted of patients, many with COVID-19 symptoms. Eleven COVID test centers also accepted patients referred for swab testing.

New COVID cases have surged to an all-time high after exploding with the new year. The nation reported 7,806 cases today, four days after peaking at over 13,000. There were three more deaths reported today as well, for a total of 405,629 cases and 874 deaths since the outbreak began. While hospitalizations have been on the rise, they remain below the late-October peak.

Ouch+ is available now in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store

Other stories you should check out:
‘Whack your motherf***ing face’: Singapore patient goes off on nurse (Video)
Two men in Beijing make unintentional history in Singapore with a kiss (Video)
‘Do not break the law’ or scare my followers: Iris Koh tells Singapore police

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