In the modern age of technology, most of us get frustrated if a website takes more than a few seconds to load.
At the time of writing, the websites of major public hospitals, polyclinics and healthcare clusters cannot be accessed.
According to The Straits Times, the websites reportedly crashed around 11.30 am.
Here is everything you need to know about this developing story.
Websites of Major Public Hospitals, Polyclinics and Healthcare Clusters Down
Since the morning of 1 November, users have been unable to access the websites of Singapore General, Tan Tock Seng, National University, Changi General, and KK Women’s and Children’s hospitals.
Furthermore, the official websites of Sengkang General, Khoo Teck Puat and Ng Teng Fong hospitals and the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) were also affected.
The websites of all three healthcare clusters were also inaccessible.
If you didn’t already know, Singapore has three healthcare clusters that manage all public hospitals and polyclinics.
Specifically, Singapore Health Services, also known as SingHealth, runs the hospitals and polyclinics in the east; the National University Health System (NUHS) runs the services in the West; and the National Healthcare Group handles those in Singapore’s central region.
When users try to access the websites, they will be met with a long loading time.
Afterwards, they encounter a message informing them that the site’s data cannot be loaded.
As of 3.45 pm, the websites remain inaccessible, regardless of the browser.
On Goody Feed’s end, we tried entering IMH’s website using Microsoft Edge and Firefox, with no luck.
Interestingly, the websites of private hospitals like Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital appear to be unaffected.
Furthermore, the mobile phone apps of the hospitals, such as HealthHub, are working.
If this is too much information for you, here is a table summarising the affected institutions:
The website of the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) is down, too.
Synapxe, Singapore’s national healthcare IT provider, has since responded to the incident in a Facebook post.
The IT provider wrote, “There is currently an internet access disruption affecting all public healthcare clusters.
“Services requiring internet applications like websites, emails and the NUHS contact centre are inaccessible.”
However, the IT provider reassured the public that “clinical services within the public healthcare network (e.g. access to patient records) remain accessible and unaffected”.
Synapxe apologised for the inconvenience caused.
Notably, the post did not explain why there was a crash.
The Straits Times noted that the Synapxe website was also down earlier today.
However, it began working again at around 2.30 pm.
The agency supports the operations of 46 healthcare institutions.
Moreover, the IT provider supports around 1,400 community partners like nursing homes and general practitioners as well.
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital has also responded to the incident.
On its official Facebook page, the hospital reposted Synapxe’s post.
It advised the public to use the Health Buddy app for appointments and billing or call 6-CALL KKH (6-2255 554) for assistance.
Tan Tock Seng Hospital reposted Synapxe’s post as well.
Besides urging users to contact its contact centre at 6245 6011 for assistance, the hospital also listed its social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram as a form of contact.
This is still a developing story.
This is not the first time a healthcare service has been down.
In April 2023, NUHS apologised for a three-hour service disruption of its contact centre number.
The issue was discovered at 8.30 am.
Full service was restored at around 11.30 am.
The issue was caused by upgrading work done the night before.
During that incident, a NUHS spokesperson said, “We thank our patients for their understanding and apologise for any inconvenience caused during the temporary disruption.”
It was also reported that NUHS would work with its vendor to prevent the incident from occurring again.