• Vol. 37 No. 10, 855–860
  • 15 October 2008

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Control at the National University Hospital, Singapore: A Historical Perspective



Introduction: The National University Hospital (NUH) was the first restructured public hospital in Singapore. As the most recently established hospital in Singapore, it has a unique record of alert organisms including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Materials and Methods: We performed a critical review of multiple data sources including surveillance reports, task force reports, published abstracts and manuscripts concerning MRSA in NUH.

Results: Three themes emerged: 1) the MRSA rates have remained relatively stable through the life of the hospital despite the increased complexity of patients and intermittent intensified control efforts; 2) the major MRSA task forces were driven by surgeons and 3) a scientific approach to epidemiology has a critical role in understanding and planning interventions.

Conclusion: Although containment of MRSA can be accomplished to a certain degree through mobilisation of existing resources, higher goals such as eradication would require massive infusions of infrastructural, scientific and human resources to have a chance of success.

The National University Hospital (NUH) was established in 1985 as the first restructured hospital and medical centre in Singapore. At its official opening in 1986, the then Director of Medical Services, Dr Kwa Soon Bee, Chairman NUH, hoped that the new teaching hospital would set the pace for “an alternative system” for the delivery of hospital care.

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