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1
Apr
2024

Major shift that could mean having to build one less hospital

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​An The Straits Times feature on the Mobile Inpatient Care @ Home (MIC@Home) scheme highlighted that virtual hospitals that became a mainstream programme in April could potentially eliminate the need for another large public hospital once fully established. Participating hospitals include all hospitals under National University Health System, which has already treated nearly 4,000 patients through NUHS@Home since 2020.

The Straits Times highlighted the positive experience of current NUHS@Home patient Mr Ong Jia Rong, who opted for the programme after being diagnosed with severe cellulitis. He shared that he is confident of the team treating him and feels more comfortable at home. The feature also detailed the home visit by NUHS@Home Clinical Lead Dr Sandra Tan and Assistant Nurse Clinician Wang Yanan.

Dr Stephanie Ko, Lead for NUHS@Home, elaborated on the benefits to receiving treatments at home rather than in hospitals. She noted that National University Hospital, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Alexandra Hospital are also looking to include cancer and transplant patients under the programme. Mr Johnny Wong, Operations and Administration Lead for NUHS@Home, also shared how the MIC@Home scheme can reduce costs for hospitals.

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31
Mar
2024

国大脊椎中心首办健康讲座 脊椎疼痛若伴随“危险讯号”应及时就医 (NUSI organises first public symposium: Seek medical help promptly if your spinal pain comes with other danger signs)

联合早报 © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

National University Spine Institute (NUSI) was set up in July 2023 and held its first public symposium, My Spine Hurts! What can I do?, on 30 March 2024, which attracted about 300 members of the public, who also had the opportunity to do free scoliosis and osteoporosis screening and hear from members of Scoliosis Support Singapore.

A/Prof Gabriel Liu, Head & Senior Consultant, NUSI, National University Health System, said the top three spinal conditions affecting people are slipped disc, spinal stenosis and cervical myelopathy. He said NUSI consolidates resources from National University Hospital, Alexandra Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital to provide seamless patient care and has plans to develop community care programmes for patients. Mr Nicholas Chun, Principal Physiotherapist, National University Hospital, advised people to stay active and avoid prolonged sitting for better health. 

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24
Mar
2024

Insect stings and bites: How deadly are they and when to seek medical attention

TODAY Online

​Dr Jonathan Tang, a clinical toxicologist at National University Hospital (NUH) and Alexandra Hospital highlighted the serious effects associated with stings from insects like bees, wasps, and hornets, emphasising the importance of prompt medical attention for severe reactions such as anaphylaxis or toxic envenomation. Data from NUH showed that 265 patients sought medical attention for insect bites or stings at its emergency medicine department and children’s emergency in the previous year, with three-quarters of the cases involving children.

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22
Mar
2024

New master’s programme to train mental health professionals in Singapore

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the National University Health System Yeo Boon Khim Mind Science Centre (MSC) are launching a new Master of Clinical Mental Health and Psychotherapy programme in January 2025 to address the increasing demand for mental health care. The launch of the programme was announced at a mental wellness exhibition at the Mind Art Experiential Lab (MAELab) located in Alexandra Hospital by National Development Minister Desmond Lee. The exhibition, titled "Nature's Embrace: A Gift to The Mind", explores the relationship between urban green spaces and mental health. 

Media reports also highlighted research done by MSC, including a recent study by MSC and National Parks Board (NParks), which involved 8,786 participants and found that gardening for one to four hours weekly enhances psychological resilience. This collaborative research underscores the mental health benefits of nature-based activities, with older participants showing greater psychological resilience across five key areas. The exhibition at MAELab will showcase these findings.

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12
Mar
2024

Beberapa hospital di S’pura tawar menu berasas tumbuhan (Several hospitals offer plant-based menus in S`pore)

Berita Harian © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Some hospitals in Singapore have started offering plant-based options on inpatient menus as part of their sustainability efforts, after evaluating them to be healthy and nutritionally balanced. Alexandra Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital have removed beef and mutton – considered the most carbon-intensive meat products globally – from their inpatient menus since August 2023, and replaced them with plant-based options made from soya protein. The hospitals say their plant-based options are offered to patients at no additional cost, and that the meals have been evaluated by their dietitians to be healthy and nutritionally balanced. Currently, Alexandra Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital offer plant-based options for lunch and dinner two to three times a week. 

National University Hospital has also incorporated plant-based options on inpatient menus since 2018. An National University Hospital spokesperson shared that the hospital offers these plant-based options for every meal, and that the evaluation of plant-based dishes in National University Hospital often revolves around promoting health and meeting patients' dietary needs. Chefs and dietitians collaborate closely to develop recipes for plant-based dishes, ensuring they meet patients' nutritional requirements while aligning with dietary guidelines and restrictions.

Only patients with no dietary restrictions can choose plant-based options from the inpatient menu. Alexandra Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital estimate that about 5 per cent of their patients opt for plant-based options, while the take-up rate at National University Hospital is about 15 per cent.

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11
Mar
2024

Some hospitals offer plant-based menu options

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

Some hospitals in Singapore have started offering plant-based options on inpatient menus as part of their sustainability efforts, after evaluating them to be healthy and nutritionally balanced. Alexandra Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital have removed beef and mutton – considered the most carbon-intensive meat products globally – from their inpatient menus since August 2023, and replaced them with plant-based options made from soya protein. The hospitals say their plant-based options are offered to patients at no additional cost, and that the meals have been evaluated by their dietitians to be healthy and nutritionally balanced. Currently, Alexandra Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital offer plant-based options for lunch and dinner two to three times a week. 

National University Hospital has also incorporated plant-based options on inpatient menus since 2018. An National University Hospital spokesperson shared that the hospital offers these plant-based options for every meal, and that the evaluation of plant-based dishes in National University Hospital often revolves around promoting health and meeting patients' dietary needs. Chefs and dietitians collaborate closely to develop recipes for plant-based dishes, ensuring they meet patients' nutritional requirements while aligning with dietary guidelines and restrictions.

Only patients with no dietary restrictions can choose plant-based options from the inpatient menu. Alexandra Hospital and Ng Teng Fong General Hospital estimate that about 5 per cent of their patients opt for plant-based options, while the take-up rate at National University Hospital is about 15 per cent.

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10
Mar
2024

She could not walk, talk, eat or breathe

The Sunday Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​The Sunday Times Life featured the inspirational story of National University Health System Caregiver Award winner Mr Kannon Kwan, whose wife was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The article cited Dr Amanda Chin, Associate Consultant, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, National University Hospital, who shared the symptoms of the condition and how it is a rare autoimmune disorder. Mr Kwan diligently cared for his wife through seven challenging weeks, and she was eventually discharged from National University Hospital to Alexandra Hospital for a month of intensive rehabilitation.

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9
Mar
2024

Inside SCDF’s emergency ambulance services: When minutes can mean life or death

Others

Non-emergency patients can access telemedicine providers or go to an urgent care centre, like the one at Alexandra Hospital. Dr Benjamin Leong, Senior Consultant, Emergency Medicine Department, National University Hospital, who is also a member of the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s medical advisory committee, said people should not hesitate if any of these services direct them to call 995.

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6
Mar
2024

Singapore to build new hospital in Tengah, expand home care initiatives to meet ageing population needs

Channel NewsAsia

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that it has begun planning for a new integrated general and community hospital in Tengah to serve the growing population in the western region of Singapore.


The hospital, which will be operated by the National University Health System, is targeted to be ready in the early 2030s. 

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3
Mar
2024

Affordable, convenient: Why more people rely on mobility scooters

The Sunday Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

In a feature story on the rising use of personal mobility aids (PMA) and the recent recommendations proposed by the Active Mobility Advisory Panel, Adj Asst Prof Raj Menon, Senior Consultant, Division of General Surgery (Trauma), National University Hospital, shared that since 2020, trauma units across the National University Health System – comprising National University Hospital, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Alexandra Hospital – have treated an average of 15 patients involved in PMA accidents yearly. Hospitals whom The Sunday Times spoke to, including those under National University Health System, said they will adjust their PMA usage guidelines accordingly if and when the Government accepts the panel’s recommendations.

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24
Feb
2024

Severe OSA increases nocturnal AF risk in patients with ischaemic heart disease

MIMS – Online

​In a recent study involving 90 patients with ischaemic heart disease (IHD) who were referred for overnight polysomnography at the National University Hospital's sleep laboratory, it was found that the prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) was significantly higher in those with severe obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), as compared to the non-severe OSA group. The researchers, including A/Prof Khoo See Meng and Dr Serene Wong, both from the Division of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine, Alexandra Hospital, emphasised the importance of timely diagnosis and treatment of OSA in patients with IHD, as AF is a risk factor for increased mortality.

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23
Feb
2024

New retention scheme a 'reason to stay' but payouts not substantial enough, say some nurses

Channel NewsAsia

Ministry of Health (MOH) introduced a new long-term retention scheme, called the Award for Nurses' Grace, Excellence and Loyalty (ANGEL) scheme, which is set to benefit approximately 29,000 nurses with payouts of up to $100,000 over the course of their careers. 

Various nurses in National University Health System institutions were interviewed by the media, including Ms Emily Yap, Senior Staff Nurse, Alexandra Hospital (AH), who shared that beyond monetary compensation, nurses require adequate rest, a safe working environment, protection from healthcare worker abuse, and opportunities for career progression. Ms Durga Devi Chandremogan, Principal Enrolled Nurse at AH, agreed, sharing that while the retention scheme will be beneficial with the rising costs of living, it is the continuous learning environment at AH that has kept her going for over a decade in her career. Ms Teo Lay Sze, Assistant Director of Nursing at National Univeristy Polyclinics, also shared that fostering a supportive work environment and professional development opportunities provide a sense of added fulfilment for nurses.

Berita Mediacorp also featured Ms Seri Sastika Binte Ramli, Assistant Director of Nursing at National University Cancer Institute, Singapore and National University Hospital, who highlighted that the scheme is one of many strategic initiatives that MOH has been developing to recognise and retain healthcare staff. On why nurses in Singapore have chosen to leave and work overseas, she explained that it is multifactorial but the common reason was because of family.

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17
Jan
2024

Play your way to better health

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Undergraduate Kong En Hui, 23, learnt ways to reduce her risk of getting cancer through the web-based mobile game National University Cancer Institute, Singapore Fights Cancer, which was launched by National University Cancer Institute, Singapore to celebrate its 15th anniversary. About 1,300 people played it when it was online, with many accessing the game at least three times a day.

Adj A/Prof Chee Cheng Ean, Executive Director, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore, said this is the first time National University Cancer Institute, Singapore is using gamification for health promotion and it is hoped that this will translate to health interventions by nudging eligible people in the population to go for cancer screenings. Dr Kenneth Sooi, Senior Resident, Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore, said National University Cancer Institute, Singapore worked with Sqkii to develop the game, a process that took 2½ months from concept to launch.

The article also mentioned “Geritopia”, a new space carved out by Alexandra Hospital’s Healthy Ageing Programme team at its clinic. The purpose is to create a senior-friendly space that is positive, informative and engaging for patients and their caregivers, and for them to explore and learn more about common geriatric syndromes through fun and interactive games.

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9
Jan
2024

Man impersonated brother and acquaintance to get medical treatment, jailed

Others

Logeswaran Mohandas was sentenced to six weeks in jail for various charges, some of which stemmed from impersonating his brother and an acquaintance to seek treatment at various polyclinics in districts such as Queenstown and Bukit Merah and hospitals including National University Hospital and Alexandra Hospital.

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8
Jan
2024

Jail for man who posed as brother, acquaintance to get medical care

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

Logeswaran Mohandas was sentenced to six weeks in jail for various charges, some of which stemmed from impersonating his brother and an acquaintance to seek treatment at various polyclinics in districts such as Queenstown and Bukit Merah and hospitals including National University Hospital and Alexandra Hospital.

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