A few months ago, I accompanied a relative to the Singapore General Hospital. It was during the peak of the H1N1 scare. To avoid the hassle of temperature taking and so on, I decided to take a walk around the hospital grounds instead of waiting indoors. And I stumbled upon the SGH Museum.
Actually, I was quite disappointed with the exhibits inside. A large section of the museum was closed off and some of the major exhibits were undergoing renovation. The rest of the exhibits were mostly about the pioneers of the health care industry and old medical equipment; the latter being too technical to interest me. However I did see something that brought back memories. They were the hypodermic needles of old. In those days, they did not use disposable hypodermic needles. Instead the needles had a stainless steel base which was mounted onto the syringe. To sterilize the needles, the nurse would use a stainless steel tray with hot water. As a kid, whenever we heard the clanging of the metallic tray, we knew what to expect.
Looking at some of the old photos of the SGH complex, I realized how much the hospital has been transformed since the 1980’s when I occasionally brought my mum there for visits. I also recall one occasion when I accompanied my brother Chun Chew (Zen) there because he swallowed this huge fish bone. I will leave him to fill in the details for himself. Practically all the old blocks had been demolished except for the Bowyer Block which now housed the SGH Museum. In those days, all the blocks had English-sounding names; but I can remember only two - Bowyer and Norris. I think the Norris Block housed the dental department. And then of course there are the two roundabouts that I blogged about here.
This is a shot of the Bowyer Block with its iconic clock tower
Thankfully, I never had to stay in SGH as a patient before. Actually I do not like going to the SGH. Usually I go there to visit friends and relatives. It’s not that I am superstitious or afraid of coming into contact with diseases. I really dislike the crowds and finding a car park is such a hassle.
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