Changi Hospital

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Changi Hospital
Ministry of Health (Singapore) (former) Singapore Armed Forces (former) ANZUK (former) Royal Air Force (former)
Geography
Location Changi Singapore, Singapore
Coordinates 1°23′27.7″N 103°58′50″E / 1.391028°N 103.98056°E / 1.391028; 103.98056Coordinates: 1°23′27.7″N 103°58′50″E / 1.391028°N 103.98056°E / 1.391028; 103.98056
Organisation
Hospital type District General
Affiliated university Ministry of Health (Singapore) (former) Singapore Armed Forces (former) ANZUK (former) Royal Air Force (former)
Services
Emergency department Accident & Emergency
Beds 790
History
Founded 1935
Closed 15 December 1997

Changi Hospital is a former hospital located in Changi, Singapore. The hospital was previously known as Royal Air Force (RAF) Hospital and was later merged with the now-defunct Toa Payoh Hospital and was renamed as the Changi General Hospital. It was then closed in 1997 and remains abandoned to this day.

History[edit]

The hospital was first built by the British government in 1935 to complement other military installations like armouries and barracks in Changi, which was then an area with a large British military base that was intended to defend the eastern end (coastal areas) of the Johor Strait. The hospital was commissioned and named as the RAF Hospital Changi. It served the Royal Engineers in Kitchener Barracks, the Royal Artillery in Roberts Barracks (now turned into the Fairy Point Hotel) and the Gordon Highlanders in Selarang Camp. These three British military units were based nearby from the hospital.

During the period of the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, the hospital compound was operated for use as a military hospital (mainly for service to wounded Japanese military personnel) and was also temporarily a major prison camp which was handled by the notorious Kempeitai (the Japanese military police, which also played the role of that of secret police), which reportedly used it as a torture centre (this rumour was based on the unconfirmed claim that a particular small room with narrow windows (thick chains were hung on the walls in the room and there were two concrete stubs on the floor that were believed to be for some sort of torture device) served as the infamous torture chamber in the hospital). The facilities at the hospital were later deemed inadequate and Changi Hospital was temporarily shifted to Roberts Barracks. The hospital moved back to its original premises following the end of the Second World War. This arrangement continued until Singapore claimed independence in August 1965. From that time onwards, the British commenced a gradual withdrawal of their military presence from Singapore, following the East of Suez policy. The hospital was renamed as the ANZUK Hospital in 1971 and served ANZUK (Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom) servicemen. ANZUK was disbanded in 1975, and it was renamed the UK Military Hospital. In December of that same year, the British finally withdrew the last of their troops and the hospital was handed over to the Singapore Armed Forces. The SAF Hospital catered to medical care of SAF personnel and their immediate families. Gradually, the hospital's services was also extended to members of the public.

The SAF Hospital later merged with Changi Chalet Hospital in 1976 and renamed as Changi Hospital, after the former was handed over to the Ministry of Health. This arrangement lasted until 15 December in 1997, when Changi Hospital was merged with Toa Payoh Hospital to form Changi General Hospital, after which, the old hospital ceased operations and was left empty ever since, with the ownership of the old hospital being transferred to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) which originally had security guards and guard-dogs to protect the old hospital from trespassers.[1]

In 2006, the SLA put up the entire site for commercial-based leasing.[2] The tender put up was won by Bestway Properties, which proposed to build a luxurious spa-resort in the old hospital by the first half of 2008. The project fell through and was never commenced (partly due to financial difficulties during the recession at that period of time) and the site was returned to the SLA in 2010, which has since fenced up the entire compound and installed security cameras in many locations to replace the security personnel needed to guard the area.

Hauntings[edit]

The vacated hospital compound was popular with film-makers after the Singapore Land Authority commenced a short-term rental programme of the abandoned and derelict buildings. Many popular MediaCorp television series such as Growing Up, The Crime Hunters and Incredible Tales were partly filmed at the now-abandoned hospital. Around this time, Old Changi Hospital, as it is popularly known, was famously declared by many to be one of the most haunted locations in Singapore.[3] The buildings are said to be haunted by the souls of the victims of the Japanese Occupation, homeless ghosts and the spirits of those who died in the hospital. The once-abandoned and derelict buildings and its ghostly reputation were the basis for the 2010 mockumentary Haunted Changi. Some of the more prominent areas of the old hospital that was famous for hauntings include the old mortuary which has since been demolished, the operating theatre and the old hospital's Accident-and-Emergency (A&E) building located below the hill from where the main hospital is located at has been demolished already.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Merger with Toa Payoh Hospital". Changi General Hospital. Archived from the original on 11 November 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Old Changi Hospital for new developments". sla.gov.sg. 29 May 2006. 
  3. ^ Williams, Dinah (2011). Shuttered Horror Hospitals. Bearport Publishing. pp. 16–17. ISBN 9781617721489.