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21
Jun
2021

People visiting critically ill patients at hospitals may stay for more than 20 minutes, must undergo Covid-19 test from June 21

TODAY Online

From 21 June 2021, the Ministry of Health said that every visit at public and private healthcare institutions should not last more than 20 minutes except for selected extension of visitation time under extenuating circumstances. Hospitals under NUHS – NUH, NTFGH and AH – will implement the measures from 22 June 2021.

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10
Jun
2021

Singapore hospitals trial bringing care to patients’ homes

Others

The Ministry of Health Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT) has partnered NUHS to drive the NUHS@Home pilot programme to care for patients in their homes. Dr Stephanie Ko, Associate Consultant, Division of Advanced Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, NUH, shared how providing medical care at home has the potential to be more patient-centred and reduce the possibility of hospital-acquired infections, while lowering cost and increasing bed capacity. Ms Tay Yee Kian, Assistant Director of Nursing, Advanced Practice Nurse, Regional Health System Office, NUHS, said that such a shift in care delivery requires a significant mindset change from both medical professionals and patients. Patients can be assured that the type of treatments they receive will be on par with that in hospitals, with five consultants from NUH’s Division of Advanced Internal Medicine and Alexandra Hospital’s Department of Medicine taking turns to provide care.
 
The pilot is expected to be concluded in September 2021 and provide valuable findings for evaluation of this care model.


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31
May
2021

New measure will help against virus, but some have concerns

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

The Straits Times cited Prof Paul Tambyah, Deputy Director of Infectious Diseases Translational Research Programme, NUS Medicine, who said that it was logical to extend the requirement of mandatory pre-departure testing to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who are returning from lower-risk places as the risk classifications can change rapidly. Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), said that implementing the new measure may be more challenging than expected as not every jurisdiction will have commercial polymerase chain reaction testing capacity that is accredited and trustworthy. 

Lianhe Zaobao, Wanbao and Shin Min Daily also cited Prof Teo, Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases, NUH, Dr Louisa Sun, Associate Consultant, Infectious Diseases and Chronic Programme, Alexandra Hospital (AH), who commented that it is unlikely that the relaxation of Phase 2 measures would be implemented right away even though the number of local community cases has fallen.

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28
May
2021

专家:本地社区病例 两周内趋稳令人鼓舞 (Experts: Five cases in Westgate store do not rule out possible transmission in public toilets)

联合早报 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Lianhe Zaobao cited Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), and Dr Louisa Sun, Associate Consultant, Infectious Diseases and Chronic Programme, Alexandra Hospital (AH), who commented on the possible risk of transmissions in public toilets as masks would be removed and how close contact between individuals remain as a high risk of transmission. Prof Teo also shared that workers such as cleaners who are working in high-risk areas should be vaccinated and receive training on personal protection. 

Lianhe Zaobao also cited Prof Dale Fisher and A/Prof David Allen, Senior Consultants at the NUH Division of Infectious Disease, who both highlighted the importance of vaccination and that the role of the vaccine is also to help reduce the severity of the disease in infected cases.

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28
May
2021

Cleaners in higher-risk areas get priority for vaccination

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

The Straits Times cited Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), who said that a contaminated surface is likely to carry an even greater amount of virus than before if an infected person with the B1617 strain sneezes, coughs on or touches it as the viral load is much higher.

Lianhe Wanbao also cited Prof Teo and Dr Louisa Sun, Associate Consultant, Infectious Diseases and Chronic Programme, Alexandra Hospital (AH), who commented on the possible risk of transmissions in public toilets as masks would be removed and how close contact between individuals remains as a high risk of transmission. 

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20
May
2021

Vaccinations helped S'pore avoid second circuit breaker, says expert

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​At the latest webinar on COVID-19 updates in Singapore organised by NUS Medicine, experts shared that vaccinations are a more sustainable way of protecting the population, though the current slew of fairly aggressive COVID-19 curbs are necessary. 

Prof Dale Fisher of NUS Medicine noted that Singapore’s moderately high vaccination rate of over 30 per cent of the population is a game changer in helping the nation avoid another circuit breaker. Straits Times noted that the webinar also featured experts such as Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), A/Prof Hsu Li Yang, Vice Dean of Global Health, NUS SSHSPH and Dr Louisa Sun, Associate Consultant with the infectious diseases team at NUH and Alexandra Hospital, who discussed the necessity of precautionary measures such as completely shifting to home-based learning. 

In a related askST report, Prof Fisher and Prof Hsu discussed popular questions about mask wearing and vaccine safety for teens.

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12
May
2021

International Nurses’ Day (12 May 2021)

Channel NewsAsia

​In a live Zoom interview on ‘Asia First’ morning show on CNA, Alexandra Hospital (AH) Nurse Clinician K. Nitiah from Urgent Care Centre and Dr Michael Yong, Group Chief of the National University Health System's (NUHS) Psychology Medicine were invited to the ‘live’ segment to talk about the stresses and sacrifices made by nurses in Singapore to mark International Nurses’ Day. Sister Nitiah said that although the going over the past year and counting has been tough and mentally stressful, it helps to have strong team spirit and teamwork to rise up to the challenge, and also be psychologically prepared for the long haul in fighting the pandemic.  She said having built-in coping mechanism such as team, family and most importantly, the nation’s support, is key. Dr Yong suggested the psyche of nurses the world over in being ‘the strong one’, the face to fight the pandemic, and being there for patients and their families to lean on in trying times like this. He listed the initiatives by which nurses in turn can cope with the work stress and for the organisation to help to look out for signs which warrant support and assistance for nurses.  

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12
May
2021

Covid-19 Pandemic: Healthcare workers face increased stress, burnout, mental health issues

Channel NewsAsia

​The National University Health System's (NUHS) Group Chief for Psychological Medicine Dr Michael Yong and Alexandra Hospital's (AH) Nurse Clinician Nitiah were interviewed by CNA on International Nurses’ Day to talk about the impact Covid-19 has had on those at the frontlines of the battle against the coronavirus – from physical aspects like exhaustion, to the mental strain from the caseload and deaths, and the toll on the profession in general.

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1
May
2021

专家:社区无关联病例虽增加但仍受控 新港航空泡泡不至于会取消 (Experts: Unlinked community transmission on the rise but under control; Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble may not get cancelled)

联合晚报 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​The Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble may not start if the threshold of a seven-day moving average of five or fewer unlinked community cases in either city is breached.  In Singapore, the number of unlinked Covid-19 cases in the community increased from five cases in the week before to seven cases in the past week. 

Local experts including Dr Louisa Soon, Associate Consultant of Infectious Diseases and Chronic Programme at Alexandra Hospital, commented that although the Covid-19 situation remains unpredictable, the authorities have put in place strict measures to mitigate the effects of the virus in the past year. The report also quoted Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), who commented that the trend of the number of COVID-19 cases in the next few days will be the key as it will be able to tell us more clearly whether the current increase in the outbreak is just a blip or it is really worsening.


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19
Apr
2021

Public healthcare institutions step up as use of telemedicine grows

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

IHIS data captured that during Covid-19 last year, telemedicine numbers had been on the rise. The report captured that the National University Health System (NUHS), which conducts more than 3,000 specialist outpatient and allied health teleconsultations each month, plans to expand its telehealth service to more patients, said group chief digital officer Peter Forbes. Teleconsultations, via video or phone calls, are now only offered for repeat visits, and the level of physical assessment needed is one of the considerations when selecting patients for telehealth, he noted. NUHS is working on videos to help patients use its telemedicine service, added Mr Forbes. Dr Teng Gim Gee, the head of Alexandra Hospital's chronic programme and lead of telemedicine, added that about 10 per cent of the hospital's patients have opted for telemedicine.

In a related story on The Straits Times Online, it was reported that Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche signed an agreement with NUHS this year, to leverage data insights to help inform treatment decisions for cancer patients. 


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18
Apr
2021

Telemedicine use continues in Singapore even as COVID-19 outbreak is under control

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​IHIS data captured that during COVID last year, telemedicine numbers had been on the rise.  The report captured that the National University Health System (NUHS), which conducts more than 3,000 specialist outpatient and allied health teleconsultations each month, plans to expand its telehealth service to more patients, said group chief digital officer Peter Forbes. Teleconsultations, via video or phone calls, are now only offered for repeat visits, and the level of physical assessment needed is one of the considerations when selecting patients for telehealth, he noted. NUHS is working on videos to help patients use its telemedicine service, added Mr Forbes. Dr Teng Gim Gee, the head of Alexandra Hospital's chronic programme and lead of telemedicine, added that about 10 per cent of the hospital's patients have opted for telemedicine.

AH Media ReleaseMedia ArticlesNUHS in the News
1
Apr
2021

Nurses reflect on their experiences in new book

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

A new book, Missy Reflections, was launched by AH yesterday. Featuring 61 reflections from 55 nurses, AH nurses conceived, wrote and edited the book while the hospital’s medical board chairman, Associate Professor Khoo See Meng, provided the illustrations.
 
The book’s creation was led by chief nurse Margaret Lee. She said, “As nurses, we are in a privileged position to connect with people from all walks of life in the course of our work. Lessons come alive in our practice environment through the patients we care for, the caregivers we support and the colleagues from all job groups we collaborate with in the service of health and healthcare.” Ms Lee hopes the book will allow the public to understand more about the nursing profession.
 
A recovered Covid-19 patient, who wished to be known only as Mr Ng, presented a bouquet of sunflowers to Ms Lee at the book’s launch. Mr Ng recalled that when he was at AH between mid-February and early March last year, the nurses would sit outside the wards to ensure that patients did not fall when they got up at night. Some of the nurses would do this even during their break time. “To me, this image is the strongest… and I think that speaks volumes of their care and love for the patients.”
 
AH chief executive Jason Phua said at the book’s launch, “They say heroes come in capes. I say heroes come in nursing scrubs.”


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29
Mar
2021

mRNA vaccines best at protecting against variants

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Straits Times quoted A/Prof David Allen, NUS Medicine, who presented findings on the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines at the monthly webinar, "COVID-19 Season 2: Update from Singapore" on 25 March 2021. A/Prof Allen explained that the success of mRNA vaccines is likely due to the high levels of antibody and T-cell response they induce in the body.

The webinar brought together local and international experts to discuss the latest medical and scientific findings around the coronavirus and it was hosted by A/Prof Allen along with Prof Dale Fisher, Group Director of Medicine, NUHS, and Dr Louisa Sun, Associate Consultant for the infectious diseases team at NUH and AH.

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23
Feb
2021

Hurting the hands that heal: Cases of abuse, harassment of public healthcare workers on the rise

Channel NewsAsia

In an online article following Min’s comment on the uptrend of abuses of HCWs in Parliament recently, SNC Pauline Chong of AH was quoted. She said, “Nurses under such circumstances may feel discouraged and down when they encounter such patients,” she added, noting that it is important during induction and refresher training to educate nurses on psychology and human behaviours.”
 
Ms Chong added that AH makes the distinction between patients who are angry, aggressive and depressed and those who are mentally ill, under stress or experiencing anxiety.”

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8
Feb
2021

Reinfection possible as immunity wanes over time: Experts

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Experts whom ST spoke to shared that those who have recovered from COVID-19 can get re-infected as immunity gained against the virus can wane over time. However, this is difficult to predict as each person’s antibody levels and longevity of the antibodies can also differ from person to person. This view was supported by Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of SSHSPH, and Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, NUH Division of Infectious Diseases and NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. A/Prof Alex Cook, Vice Dean of Research, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, further added that this does not substantially change the core strategy to contain COVID-19 and people should continue to adhere to public health measures.
 
In a separate article, Lianhe Zaobao quoted Dr Louisa Sun, Infectious Diseases Associate Consultant at Alexandra Hospital, who said that reinfection is rare, but all viruses mutate naturally, and the current strain of Covid-19 may have mutated from the peak of the virus last year. She added that the current safe management measures should be exercised to prevent reinfection. 

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