Published April 5, 2007

Another site available for hospital-cum-hotel project

1.36ha Race Course Rd site was put on reserve list in 2006


THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) says a reserve site on Race Course Road can now be developed with a hospital component.

The 1.36ha site, which has a maximum allowable gross floor area (GFA) of 57,225 square metres, was put on the reserve list of the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme last year.

Zoned a white site, residential and commercial use, as well as a stipulated minimum 40 per cent GFA of hotel use, was expected.

In a statement yesterday, URA said: 'In line with increased interest in hospital development, URA has been working with the Ministry of Health and EDB (Economic Development Board) to review new sites for hospital development.'

A URA spokesman said later: 'We have received some market feedback that the site could be suitable for a hospital development.

'Allowing hospital use for this site also supports the government's plan to release more land for medical facilities to cope with the increased needs of local patients and the 20 per cent annual growth in foreign patients.'

On whether growing medical tourism was a factor, the URA spokesman said: 'An investor could choose to build a proposed hospital-cum-hotel development that could be suitable for tourists who visit Singapore for leisure purposes or to seek medical treatments, and in doing so, would contribute to the SingaporeMedicine's initiative to attract one million foreign patients by 2012 with an expected spending of $3 billion.'

SingaporeMedicine is a multi-agency government-industry partnership set up to develop and promote Singapore as a medical hub.

Its latest figures - for 2005 - show that 374,000 international patients came to Singapore specifically for health care.

In January, another GLS hotel site aimed partly at medical tourism was sold to Far East Organization for $131.1 million or $501 per square foot per plot ratio.

Located strategically at Sinaran Drive, the site is close to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Far East's Novena Medical Suites.

There does appear to be demand for hospital sites.

It emerged in June last year that Parkway Holdings initially planned to convert a residential site it bought at Napier Road for $138 million into a medical centre. But URA turned down the application for a change of use.