Why do patients come to the Accident and Emergency Department, RIPAS Hospital?


Po Thaw DA 1, Zaiton AWANG 2, Sahri GHANI 2, Shamsiah TAHIR 2, Norbayah JAIDIN 2, Jeffry DAMIT 2

1 Accident and Emergency Department, RIPAS Hospital and 2 Statistics Unit, Research and Development Section, Ministry of Health, Brunei Darussalam.



Introduction:  The total number of patients, especially the non-urgent cases (Priority 3) attending the Accident and Emergency Department (AED) of the RIPAS Hospital have increased from 1996 to 2003. This questionnaire study looked at the reasons for attending the AED of RIPAS Hospital instead of the outpatient peripheral clinics or health centres. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted using prepared survey questions (17 questions) from 15th May to 15th June 2004 (32 days) on patients/care-givers/accompanying persons (Priority 3 – non-urgent/not serious cases) who attended the AED for various reasons. A total of 398 respondents participated in the study. Results: Most of the respondents were Bruneian (88.9%) with the rest consisting of permanent residents 4.6% and expatriates (7.2%). The majority of respondents were in the age group between 16 to 45 years (32.8%). Reasons for going the AED RIPAS hospital included complete facilities (Radiology, Laboratory and etc, 87.7%), provision of a 24 hours service (89.8%), patients’ perception of their illnesses being serious (81.9%), more comprehensive check-ups (66%) and less traffic leading to the AED at certain times of the day (61.2%). Interestingly, some were unaware of available specified health services in their area and that extended services were available in Ong Sum Ping Health Centre. Conclusion: A majority of responders attended the AED for various reasons. Patient education is important to increase awareness so that priority 3 cases can be directed to peripheral clinics to reduce congestions at the AED RIPAS Hospital.


Keywords: Appointment, emergency medical service, hospital, out-patients, triage


Correspondence: Po Thaw DA, P.O. Box 107, Post Office Old Airport, Berakas BB3577, Brunei Darussalam. Tel: 673-2450043, E-mail: alisionthaw@hotmail.com


Brunei Int Med J. 2011; 7 (1): 15-21