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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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2
Feb
2021

经验和知识不断提升 – 微创手术将成治疗黄金标准 (With experience and skills enhancement, minimally invasive operations becoming “Gold Standard”)

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

Lianhe ZaobaoNOW’s cover story featured three keyhole procedures carried out at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Alexandra Hospital and highlighted how the advancement in surgical skills and COVID-19 has accelerated the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques for treatment of hernias, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and spine surgery. The three procedures – laparoscopy, holmium laser enucleation of prostate (HoLEP), and endoscopic spine surgery – were carried out by Dr Sujith Wijerathne, Dr Wu Pang Hung and Dr Lie Kwok Ying respectively.

NUHS Group Chief of Surgery, Prof K. Madhavan said, “… the obvious advantages of quicker healing, early discharge from hospital and less pain after surgery required new skills of the surgeon and these were quickly incorporated into the training of surgeons. Other advantages that were observed in the longer term included better standards of surgery, improved ability to visualise the area and better capture of operative steps on visual media, thereby improving training.”

Dr Wu Pang Hung (Consultant, Orthopaedic Surgery, NTFGH) commented that “Endoscopic Spine Surgery is one of the methods of keyhole spine surgeries. Other established forms of keyhole surgeries are tubular or mini-open microscope assisted surgeries. The objective of endoscopic spine surgery does not differ from that of traditional open surgery, which is to relieve pressure from the nerves by removing structures that cause compression.” He added that patients should explore the appropriate type of surgery for their condition with their spine surgeon.

Commenting on HoLEP, Dr Lie Kwok Ying (Senior Consultant, Urology, NTFGH) said, “HoLEP has long-term functional results that are identical to reference techniques, and is a comparatively more versatile technique than the traditional transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). Compared with TURP, HoLEP results in significantly less bleeding loss and is more suitable for patients on blood thinners, and allows for shorter recovery time. It is applicable to most patients with BPH.”

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16
Jan
2021

Technology set to change face of medical care

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

​Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the use of technology has been on the rise in many industries. The healthcare industry was one of them with telehealth services being rapidly rolled out and offered to patients with different care needs. For example, Alexandra Hospital senior physiotherapist Tan Ee Ling was able to demonstrate wrist-stretching exercises to a patient during a virtual consultation over Zoom, a video-conferencing tool.

Over time, National University Health System has seen a marked up-take in telehealth services and its group chief digital officer Peter Forbes further shared that, “NUHS is currently working on the expansion of its telehealth services across all institutions within the healthcare cluster in order to offer this service to more patients.”

A/Prof Mahesh Choolani, head and senior consultant of the obstetrics and gynaecology department at National University Hospital, remarked that other than telehealth services, the adoption of innovations and technology has also changed the way healthcare institutions manage patient flow. The use of robots and internet-enabled devices also allow physicians to remotely track patients' vital signs and make diagnoses without being physically present. Apart from managing the spread of infection during a pandemic, the use of such technology also reduces manpower requirements and makes hospital operations more efficient and less costly.


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8
Jan
2021

50,000 fruits for frontline workers

Tabla! © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​A local Indian vegetarian restaurant, Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, distributed 50,000 fresh fruits to 20 hospitals, including NUH and AH, on 31 December 2020 to thank frontline healthcare workers.

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27
Dec
2020

Current measures in S'pore adequate against new Covid-19 strains, say experts

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

Discussing how the new coronavirus strains affected vaccination plans, Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of SSHSPH, said it may now be important for more Singaporeans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, noting that “this is the only way we can continue to ensure that the community as a whole is protected”.
 
A/Prof Hsu Li Yang, Vice Dean of Global Research and Programme Leader of Infectious Diseases at SSHSPH, noted that the vaccine would still protect against the new COVID-19 strains as they have not mutated to the extent that vaccines are not able to protect against them.   
 
Reports also quoted experts who spoke at the NUSMed webinar series “Covid-19: Updates from Singapore”, including A/Prof David Allen and Prof Dale Fisher from NUSMed, and Dr Louisa Sun from Alexandra Hospital.


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18
Oct
2020

狮子乐龄之友与六公共医院合作 免费远程看诊降低年长者感染风险 (Lions Befrienders partners with 6 hospitals to provide free remote consultations for elderly)

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

​To reduce the risk of infection amongst the elderly, Lions Befrienders has partnered with six hospitals to provide free remote consultations. This includes National University Hospital and Alexandra Hospital.


This initiative currently covers services such as chronic disease management, general and geriatric consultations. Elderly residents are able to consult with psychologists, physiotherapists, pharmacists and other healthcare staff remotely.

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25
Sep
2020

NUHS harnesses tech to help manage hospital facilities

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

​NUHS embraces drones, touch-free technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) to transform hospital operations. The suite of technologies includes: 

  • A security robot that will patrol the grounds of the hospitals namely NTFGH and NUH for a start;
  • ‘Kenobi’, a security and concierge robot that can conduct thermal scanning and check for SafeEntry;
  • Drones for hospital inspections and security surveillance;
  • IoT solutions to predict and prevent flood and fire incidents; and
  • Touch-free technology in visitor and patient lifts to improve infection control.
 This will enable hospitals to move from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance, improve operational efficiency, reduce risks and hazards, and build a future-ready workforce. 

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22
Aug
2020

NUHS won’t seek $296k repayment of bills from worker

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

Healthcare group NUHS, which runs National University Hospital and Alexandra Hospital, has said it is not pursuing a $296,000 award it won in court against a quadriplegic foreign worker, whose employer had defaulted on paying his medical treatment bills.

Mr Janaed, 44, had suffered severe injuries from a 3m-high fall at Westgate Tower in Jurong, in November 2018. He was warded at NUH for 91 days before being transferred to AH, where he stayed for 152 days.

Responding to queries, an NUHS spokesman said that as with other cases involving defaults on payment, it had exercised its options as part of the legal process. It added: “Mr Janaed was a patient whom we have cared for, and we understand his circumstances. We will not be pursuing any repayment of the medical and hospital bills from him. We, however, reserve our rights to take any necessary action against the employer.” 


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3
Aug
2020

Fighter jets to soar over hospitals, heartland in tribute to front-line, essential workers

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

​In this year’s National Day Parade, six F-15 fighter jets will perform a segment called the Roar of Unity and fly past eight hospitals including NUH, NTFGH, and AH to pay tribute to front-line and essential workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.  

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19
Jul
2020

When will it be safe to…?

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

The article discussed when it is safe to restart activities like working out at the gym or going on vacation. It includes quoted comments by Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of SSHSPH, Prof Paul Tambyah of NUSMed and Senior Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases at NUH, Assoc Prof Hsu Li Yang, Leader of Infectious Diseases Programme at SSHSPH, Ms Julianah Omar, Nurse Manager at AH's Urgent Care Centre, and Dr Laureen Wang, Associate Consultant at the Department of Cardiology at AH.

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4
Jul
2020

Shared care for more patients with stable chronic conditions

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

In Covid-19 times, it is an option for patients with stable chronic conditions who may not want to go to a hospital to have a shared care arrangement between a hospital specialist and a family physician. The Straits Times featured the example of Mr Chua Kee Huat, 70, who is part of such an arrangement with his specialist, Dr Anita Lim, senior consultant at NUH’s Division of Rheumatology and a family physician at Frontier Family Medicine Clinic. With shared care, the specialist can handle the more challenging aspects of the illness, while the family physician will monitor the patient and manage his other medical problems.
 
Ms Joanne Yap, executive director of the NUHS Regional Health System Office, said: “We have hope that the Covid-19 pandemic may drive changes in patient preferences for safety and convenience over choice of a specialist setting only. We intend to ride on the expediency of Covid-19 to expand the number of conditions managed through the shared care programme and to involve more specialists in NUHS-managed hospitals.”
 
NTFGH came on board the shared care programme at the end of last year, and AH will start to enrol patients for the programme from this month, Ms Yap added. Last year, NUHS enrolled 188 new shared programme cases, exceeding the set target of 170. This year, it has raised its target to 200, given its expansion plans ahead.

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4
Jul
2020

如何处理冷冻食物? (How should you handle frozen food?)

新明日报 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Dr Louisa Sun, Associate Consultant of Infectious Diseases and Chronic Programme at Alexandra Hospital and Ms Lynette Goh, Principal Dietitian of the National University Polyclinics commented on the importance on handling frozen food properly to avoid bacterial infection. Among the tips shared with readers were avoiding refreezing defrosted food and using an ice pack or cooler bag if the trip from the supermarket to home takes longer than 30 minutes.

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16
Jun
2020

Ella helps keep Alexandra Hospital clean

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

​NTFGH Chief Operating Officer, Ng Kian Swan shares that the current Covid-19 situation has stretched our resources, hence our housekeeping department is leveraging technology to drive efficiency, safety and be less dependent on labour.

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4
May
2020

Stretched but coping: How Singapore’s healthcare system has cranked up efforts to deal with COVID-19

Channel NewsAsia

This report delves into the measures that local public hospitals have adopted to cope with the surge in COVID-19 patient numbers, and precautionary measures for the approaching dengue season.
 
A/Prof Hsu Li Yang, programme lead of infectious diseases at SSHSPH commented that Singapore’s strategies were generally very effective up until mid-March, but the nation was unprepared for the explosion of confirmed diagnoses in the migrant worker population. However, he is confident the nation will be able to cope.
 
NTFGH saw a spike in cases at its emergency department and has had to rapidly re-purpose areas such as its Community Hub (at JCH) and six floors of wards, and extend its fever tent, to cater to the increasing load.
 
AH has turned two empty wards into isolation wards and increased its intensive care capabilities from 4 to 11 beds. It aims to have 20 ICU beds by this month.
 
NUH has been creating surge capacity since January by decreasing elective workloads, reconfiguring its facilities and has created family-friendly areas where parents and children with COVID-19 can be cared for together.
 
Hospitals have also ramped up training to equip nurses with skills needed in the current situation. At AH, Ms Doreen Heng, Assistant Director of Nursing, provides “express course training” to help former ICU nurses refresh their knowledge, and equip nurses from other backgrounds with ICU certification. 

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