Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital – Pediatric Ward Staycation Experience

We were initially at Mount Alvernia, but because the beds were full, we requested to be transferred to another hospital. Our Pediatrician got the nurses to call a few hospitals that he was registered with and came back with the good news that Mount Elizabeth Novena was available. Good news indeed as we had heard so much raves about the place. Off we went!

It was not the first time that our kid had to stay in a hospital. But it was Lil Nugget’s first time. She was 15 months old and had severe cough for a long time with fevers going up and down. X-rays showed that she had bronchitis that could develop into pneumonia and thus have to be warded to cure it fast.

We reached the very large and welcoming lobby and was directed to the registration area. Here, a staff will do all the paperwork for you to be admitted to the hospital. I was glad that I wasn’t alone with Lil Nugget as the process took SO LONG!! I was seated there for at least half an hour just settling the paperwork!


Finally the paperwork was complete and they sent someone to escort us to the ward. Here’s the single room we got. Lodger’s bed is the sofa at the back of the picture. There’s a smart TV which was very cool to navigate around too. The room was spacious and clean and bright as expected and I was pleased. One small thing though. They gave a normal bed for my 15 month old. 15 month olds can stand and climb and might fall off the bed. But I guess they didn’t know that. I had to ask if they had a cot, which they did and brought it to me quite immediately. Their reasoning was that some parents prefer the bed to the cot. Well perhaps parents with older kids? I’m not sure.


So many have heard that their mini bar is free and will be replenished once daily right? It is true! However, do not expect a hotel’s mini bar standard. This is what you get. 2 bottles of mineral water, 1 perrier, 3 juices. No chocolate bar or chips I was hoping for. Hee. But anyway, these drinks were good to serve visitors with. The Nespresso machine was really good too. You get 2 free cups everyday. They will top up the capsules for you. Same goes for their organic teas. Relatives who came to visit loved the machine. I don’t drink coffee so too bad for me.


So once we settled in, it was time to put Lil Nugget on a drip. This would be done by an in-house doctor with the help of nurses on duty. I could easily tell that one of the nurses on duty was more experienced than the other. That’s usually the case. The not so experienced nurse came to inform me that the doctor will be putting on the IV drip. So I said ok…. And she lingered in my room, and I said, “Is it now? Where?” Before she led me to the treatment room. She could have been clearer and said “Please bring your baby to the treatment room. Follow me. The doctor is here to administer the drip” or something like that. Lucky I was not a first time mum and my elder one had been put on the drip before so I was aware it was not done in the ward.

Putting on the drip was a pain. Lil Nugget was struggling and the doctor gave instructions all the time for the 2 nurses to follow. The nurses were really NOT experienced. Even the more experienced one. The doctor would call on her to do more things and when she does not do them, the doctor will ask if she understood and she said no. All the time Lil Nugget was crying and struggling and it took forever to draw 5ml of blood from her for the tests. Nightmare for me.


Later on they came into my room to get my food orders. It was really high tech. They were using an iPad to take orders. My other hospital stays all used carbon-copied slips of paper. However it was so high tech that the nurses also had problems maneuvering the menus. They gave me child’s menu initially with foods like spaghetti. But I said my baby can’t eat that yet. She needs more bite sized foods. But the next tier was already pureed foods. Oh well, that’s better. I thought there were not too many babies of this age at the hospital so they can’t possibly just cater to this age group babies.


Here are some photos of the foods that Lil Nugget and me had over the few days. I heard that the food was very good but I was highly disappointed that they were not. They were not bad. Just not amazingly good as I heard it was.

With all the complaints I have about my much too high expectations about the nurses, staff, room and food, I think the place is really very conducive for a good rest. It was quiet. You do not have many people walking around or nurses talking loudly at their station. However I did not get sufficient rest as they kept needing to top up the drip and add antibiotics into the drip in the middle of the night.

What I liked also is that they washed and sterilized Lil Nugget’s milk bottles for me. Also, once, at about 11pm when she vomited, 2 cleaners came to help me change bedsheets and mop the floor. They were still working at that hour??!!

Here’s some pictures of Lil Nugget at the hospital. She was always trying to get the drip out. We brought lots of toys and books from home to entertain her with.

This is how she looked when nurses entered the room on the 1st and 2nd day. But towards the end, she was better and did not cry so hard when they came in.

The hospital even had physiotherapists come in to help her clear her lungs by doing a bit of baby massage. She really enjoyed those couple of sessions.


Thank God that we got discharged after just 3 days there. She recovered well but was given lots of medication and oral antibiotics to continue with for the next week. The bill came up to be $5.5k for doctor’s fees, hospital stay for 3d2n and equipment usage. Medisave was $900 so all in all, cash paid was about $4.6k. Thank God also that we bought insurance for Lil Nugget from Prudential so all these were waived. We had to make the upfront payment and claims will come in at a later date. The plan is called Prushield. We bought this for all our kids and it sure is useful. Prudential is not the only one who has hospital plans. You can comment or email me for my agent’s contact if you need, or for any questions regarding the stay at the hospital.



10 thoughts on “Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital – Pediatric Ward Staycation Experience

  1. Let’s see… Expensive, Fancy, incompetent staff. Sounds about the same as my experience. Yes, we finally get to the outcome that we want, which is health. I have a letter from the parkway COO that was written to me that says whatever they have done is in line with well-accepted medical practice. Shocking. good to hear lil nugget is better now but I wouldn’t go there again. Maybe MtAlv or TMC or just KKH.


    • Mount Alvernia has very caring and competent nurses and lactation consultants. Very good for first time mums. Only downside is that they are always full and not easy to score a single bedder.


  2. Thank God Lil Nugget recovered very fast and you could be discharged after 3 days. It is so heart pain for us parents to see our kids fall ill and had to administer the IV drip. I had to be sent out of the room when the nurses were doing it for my elder girl years ago cos I was crying 😦 I agree one of the most essential insurances we have to buy for our kids is the hospitalisation insurance. Ours is the AIA Star Shield Plan.


  3. After reading Mike’s post and yours, I think my conclusion is that Mt E Novena is great for a hotel with healthcare services, but not so great for being a hospital lol.

    I hope i would never have to let my kids be hospitalised! Very stressful.. hopefully Lil Nugget is well now!


  4. Good to hear Lil Nugget is better now. The way I see it, the hospital is clearly well run hotel, but as a hospital, they clearly do not have enough experienced medical staff to carry out their duties.


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