Today is World No Tobacco Day. There is a very compelling reason for us to mark this day in Singapore as smoking is one of the key health concerns we need to address. Smoking can cause cancer and heart disease. While Singapore has one of the lowest smoking prevalence in the world, we must not rest on our laurels as we are seeing a rising incidence of smoking amongst our young adults. Continue reading “Go beyond being smoke-free” »
Just recently, I was with my family at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park for a weekend outing. As we were walking, we noted how pleasing the park looked; the lush greenery blending well with the Kallang River. We felt energised after the walk. The park is popular – we found ourselves in the company of other families, the young and old.
Often, we think of living healthy lives as sweating it out at a members-only gym and paying to train under fitness instructors. This is not necessarily true! There are easy and convenient ways to stay fit that are within the reach of everyone. A walk in the park is an example. Being close to nature is good for one’s mental health. A brisk walk can be a calorie-burning workout, provided one does not ‘attack’ tempting treats straight after! Many parks are equipped with fitness corners, and they are free. Keeping healthy could really be a walk in the park! Continue reading “Healthy Living: A Walk in the Park” »
Three days have passed since the controversial misstatement. Many of you have spoken, some acknowledging that the slip was indeed an honest mistake, and some still nursing the hurt over the misquotation.
Regardless, I am encouraged that many of you stood up proudly to articulate the purpose and value of nursing. I am also heartened that many members of the public stepped in to defend and support the important roles that nurses play in Singapore.
Let us move on. As CNO, let me assure you that we stand alongside you and affirm your professional calling as NURSES. Thank you for being in the frontline to provide safe, competent and compassionate care to our patients 24/7. You indeed are a significant and irreplaceable professional in healthcare.
We shall channel our expertise, resources and energy to a far bigger cause – to serve our country well. It is our honourable duty to help our people live well, live long and with peace of mind. And as nurses, we shall always remain proud of our contributions.
Pauline Tan (Dr) RN, FAAN
Chief Nursing Officer
To all our nurses
As a doctor and as the Director of Medical Services, MOH, because of the events that have unfolded over the last couple of days, I feel I have to say this.
Nursing is not a job that just anybody can do – it is a profession.
It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse – someone who is compassionate, caring, and who is willing to put the interests of others above their own. Nurses are often specially trained, and need to keep up with new developments in their field. They work in difficult situations, and have to remain professional in the face of challenges.
As a surgeon, I work with very highly trained nurses, without whom much of my work would have been impossible. In the operating theatre, nurses ensure that the most complex operations are carried out smoothly.
In the wards, nurses work to ensure the well-being of our patients and continue to do so long after everyone else has gone home. I daresay they are often under-appreciated and taken for granted – but our healthcare system would not function without them. Whether it is our hospitals, clinics or hospices they rely on our nurses.
Nurses, even though we don’t always remember to say it – we appreciate you and your expertise.
Thank you for being a nurse.
Professor K Satkunanantham
Director of Medical Services
Last Friday, I was invited to St Joseph’s Home (SJH) at Jurong Road. The Home was set-up by the Catholic Welfare Services in 1978 to provide nursing home (NH) and hospice services. MOH has been talking a lot lately about home and community based services. This was a great opportunity to find out how those efforts are progressing. Continue reading “The Spirit of Caring” »
I am a Paediatrician specialising in Infectious Diseases and one of the greatest joys of treating children is to know that the majority of them get well from their sicknesses, and return to their normal lives. This is no different even in the case of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease (HFMD).
It has been just about two months since we unveiled the Healthcare 2020 Masterplan. As many of you may recall, the Masterplan outlines a slew of measures to enhance the affordability, accessibility, and quality of healthcare, to better meet the needs of Singaporeans.
Since then, I have received encouraging feedback on many of our healthcare initiatives, especially via the REACH portal. Measures which many Singaporeans welcome include the enhanced subsidies for Intermediate and Long-term Care (ILTC) services, and the expanded scope of the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS). Continue reading “Thoughts on healthcare affordability” »
The Ministry recently launched the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) (formerly known as the Primary Care Partnership Scheme) to help more middle and low income Singaporeans benefit from subsidised care at GP and dental clinics near their homes. This scheme makes it easier and more convenient for Singaporeans aged 40 and above who qualify to manage their chronic diseases early, and avoid unnecessary medical complications. While it’s possible to treat medical conditions after they have set in, the best way to avoid all chronic diseases is to live a healthy lifestyle. As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure! I’m sure we are all aware of this, the question often is “how?” Continue reading “Living Healthily” »
Last December, I came across an article in Zaobao titled “Old Man Living Alone Has Lingering Concerns” (独居老伯 心有牵挂). It describes an old man, Mr Huang Ji Fu (黄吉富), who lives alone after his wife had a stroke. She had to be admitted to a nursing home because he was unable to take care of her at home. His thoughts were however never far from her.
Continue reading “Caring for Our Senior Population” »
A reporter asked me whether being the Minister-in-Charge of Ageing Issues was an additional ECA (Extra Curricular Activity) for me. I said that it was not an “ECA” but a “CCA” (Co Curricular Activity)!
Indeed, an ageing population will be a major force shaping our society over the next one or two decades. We will see about 400,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 years old between now and 2020. However, the bulk of Baby Boomers, or about 600,000 people, will turn 65 years old between 2020 and 2030. 600,000 people today is equivalent to about the size of Ang Mo Kio, Choa Chu Kang, Toa Payoh, and Yishun taken together!