A CHANGE of mops has helped one hospital here save S$90,000 (RM198,084) a year, a move which others are adopting as pressure mounts to contain costs in the healthcare sector.
The new mops, imported from United States for S$250 (RM545) each, have allowed KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) to slice S$90,000 off manpower costs.
This is because fewer cleaners are needed, since there is no need to sweep the floor before using the mops, which have a flat head and are twice the size of normal ones.
The hospital also saves 600 gallons of water a day, since the cleaning liquid is poured into the mop's hollow stand and can be squirted out when required, eliminating the need for buckets of water.
The mops are just one cost-cutting measure. KKH has also raised the temperature of the chilled water needed for air-conditioning by one degree, allowing it to save S$28,000 (RM61,003) a year in energy bills, while keeping temperatures in wards at a cool 23˚c.
Using disposable pillowcases has also saved the hospital S$131,000 (RM284,411) over three years.
In all, these measures and more have enabled KKH to save at least S$200,000 (RM435,742) a year.
Hospitals are learning cost-cutting measures from each other too - Changi General Hospital (CGH) has already adopted KKH's measure on mops.
CGH has also saved S$120,000 (RM261,445) a year by using the heat generated by its air-con chillers to fire up its hot-water heaters, instead of buying gas.
SingHealth chief executive officer Prof Tan Ser Kiat said that while utilities make up just a small portion of operating costs, significant savings can still be made.
Electricity is just one example. By negotiating better electricity prices and through energy-saving projects, Prof Tan said the group has saved at least S$500,000 (RM1.1mil) a year.
"The savings not only contribute towards keeping operating costs down, but it also means that healthcare costs can remain affordable," he added.
Source - The Straits Times / Asia News Network