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    27 Dec 2014
    SGH embarks on clinical trial on potential therapy for depression

    SGH, together with NUH, has embarked on a clinical trial on a potential therapy called the Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) for depression. tDCS, a stimulation treatment that involves passing a weak direct electric current through one’s brain, is a non-invasive procedure and does not require patients to go under general anaesthesia. The researchers hope that it can be a safe and viable treatment alternative for patients with depression in the future. The report called for interested patient volunteers to contact SingHealth Investigational Medicine Unit to find out more about participating in the trial.

    The Straits Times - pg B6
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 9

    18 Dec 2014
    NHRIS director awarded the Tanoto Foundation Professorship in Cardiovascular Medicine

    The SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre announced today that the Tanoto Foundation Professorship in Cardiovascular Medicine has been awarded to Professor Stuart Cook, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology and Distinguished Clinician Scientist of the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), and Director of the National Heart Research Institute Singapore (NHRIS) at NHCS. Prof Cook is also Deputy Program Director of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Signature Research Program at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and Professor of Clinical and Molecular Cardiology at Imperial College, UK. The Professorship recognises Prof Cook as an outstanding clinician and researcher who has demonstrated academic leadership and is a pioneer in advancing the frontiers in cardiovascular medicine.

    The Straits Times - pg B8

    18 Dec 2014
    SingHealth publishes age-friendly cookbook

    To raise awareness of the importance of good nutrition among the elderly, SingHealth has published a cookbook in collaboration with partners in the Intermediate and Long-Term Care sector.  The 12 elderly-friendly recipes are contributed by dietitians from Singapore General Hospital,KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, SingHealth Polyclinics, Bright Vision Hospital, Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital, Ren Ci Hospital and Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Designed to meet the nutritional needs of the elderly, the dishes are easy to prepare and easy to chew and swallow. 

    zbNOW - pg 3
    The Straits Times Mind Your Body - pg 12 (19 Feb 2015)

    23 Nov 2014
    SERI researchers identify genes to better understand glaucoma

    Researchers from the Singapore Eye Research Institute have identified genes to better understand glaucoma, a condition characterised by progressive damage to the optic nerve and that can lead to irreversible blindness. Assoc Prof Cheng Ching-Yu, Senior Clinician Scientist, SERI, Prof Aung Tin, Executive Director, SERI and Deputy Medical Director (Research), SNEC and their team discovered four genes linked to intraocular pressure (IOP) and glaucoma risk, while Assoc Prof Eranga Vithana, Senior Principal Research Scientist, SERI and her team discovered two genes linked to open-angle glaucoma risk among the Chinese. Both studies were published in the prestigious science journal Nature Genetics last month.

    The Sunday Times - pg 38

    22 Nov 2014
    SNEC appeals for public to pledge cornea

    About 30 people in Singapore are in need of a cornea transplant every day. Singapore National Eye Centre hopes that more people will give consent to donate their corneas after their passing. SNEC also revealed that 40 per cent of families do not consent to donating their deceased relative’s corneas, mainly due to two reasons: the families do not know if the deceased would have agreed to the decision, and that they do not wish for the deceased to lose any organ. SNEC carries out an average of 400 corneal transplants yearly.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 14

    20 Nov 2014
    SGH speech therapists develop Singapore’s first aphasia test

    Speech therapists at Singapore General Hospital have developed the Singapore Aphasia Test (SGAT), a test which provides speech therapists a better understanding of the extent of language and speech problems in local bilingual stroke patients for a condition called aphasia. The test contains illustrations that local patients are more familiar with, thereby helping therapists to pick up language and speech deficits more accurately. Before this, there were no locally-developed language assessment tool for aphasia and local speech therapists have been using tools developed by Western countries that cater mainly to English-speaking populations. SGH is appealing for 100 stroke patients to participate in a study to validate the SGAT.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 5

    17 Nov 2014
    SHP’s medication review service improves drug adherence and knowledge

    SingHealth Polyclinics did a study to measure the effectiveness of its medication review service (MRS). The MRS is a one-to-one review of patients’ medication and conditions, where pharmacists meet with patients to identify and resolve their medication-related issues, as well as explain prescriptions and medication. The study showed that MRS significantly improved patients’ medication knowledge and adherence. For instance, 70.3 per cent of patients did not adhere to their chronic medication at some point before MRS, but this number was halved to 36.9 per cent after the reviews. Low medication adherence can lead to complications, which might in turn result in higher medical expenses and hospitalisation, among other things. SHP saw an average of 158 patients a week for the review session from September last year to August this year.

    TODAY Online

    16 Nov 2014
    11,000 people run for cancer research

    11,000 people turned up for Run for Hope organised by National Cancer Centre Singapore on 16 November. The event is into its 22nd year and was held at the Promontory at Marina Bay. The NCCS hopes to raise awareness and funds for cancer research, which can lead to early diagnosis and, eventually, a cure for the disease. The event raised more than S$440,000 and donations can still be made online.

    Channel NewsAsia Online

    13 Nov 2014
    Lupus patient raises $1,130,000 for rheumatology research fund

    Art gallery owner and lupus patient, Ms Helina Chan started the Reverie Rheumatology Research Fund to raise awareness of rheumatological diseases. A benefit dinner held by Ms Chan for her art gallery’s 15th anniversary raised $1,130,000 for the fund, including the government’s dollar-for-dollar fund matching. Research on local patients must be done in order to understand the genes of Asians and auto-immune diseases. All funds raised will benefit rheumatology research under the SingHealth Duke-NUS Medicine Academic Clinical Program.

    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 3

    12 Nov 2014
    SGH's DARE programme teaches schoolchildren how to help someone with cardiac arrest

    60 pupils from St Anthony’s Primary School took part in a hands-on workshop which showed them what to do if someone goes into cardiac arrest. The pilot 1-hour programme, called Dispatcher Assisted first Responder (DARE) Programme, was organised by Singapore General Hospital's Unit for Pre-hospital Emergency Care. About 1,800 cardiac arrests happen out of hospital each year and the programme hopes to encourage a generation of children who are willing and able to respond. About 2,300 students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions so far have been trained. The programme will also be rolled out to other groups in the community such as workplaces and religious organisations.

    The Straits Times – pg B8
    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 8

    09 Nov 2014
    NNI duo’s brain tumour research

    Two scientists from National Neuroscience Institute have opened a new frontier in the fight against glioblastoma, a swift and deadly form of brain cancer. Assoc Prof Christopher Ang Beng Ti, Head & Senior Consultant, Department of Neurosurgery, NNI (SGH Campus) and Dr Carol Tang, Senior Research Scientist, NNI built a well-respected database of some 100 brain tumours removed from patients during surgery and are studying their genetic information to shed light on their weaknesses. They also developed a way to reproduce the tumour cells and implant them in mice so that they will grow exactly as they would in humans, which is a breakthrough as scientists traditionally only have a finite supply of cells from the original tumour for research and tests. The research could eventually lead up to patients getting a more personalised diagnosis within days of surgery, so that the most effective drugs can be prescribed.

    The Sunday Times – pg 45

    05 Nov 2014
    NHCS doctors help to set up Papua New Guinea’s first cardiac unit

    Doctors from National Heart Centre Singapore have been going to Papua New Guinea for the past six years to perform surgeries. To empower local hospitals to operate on heart patients, they are now helping to set up the country’s first cardiac unit, which could be ready by next year. NHCS doctors have trained two cardiologists and a heart surgeon, who will form the core of the new unit. To help kick-start the new team, Singapore General Hospital is also helping to train nurses and perfusionists – specialists who operate heart-lung machines during surgery.

    The Straits Times – pg B3

    05 Nov 2014
    SNEC doctors honoured at President’s Science and Technology Awards 2014

    The President’s Technology Award (PTA) was conferred to a team comprising Prof Subbu Venkatraman, Prof Freddy Boey from Nanyang Technological University as well as Assoc Prof Tina Wong, Senior Consultant in General Cataract and Comprehensive Ophthalmology Service, Singapore National Eye Centre. The team was recognised for their work in developing a sustained drug-delivery technology to apply anti-glaucoma medicine. The other PTA-winning team comprises Prof Wong Tien Yin, Medical Director of Singapore National Eye Centre as well as Prof Wynne Hsu and Prof Lee Mong Li from National University of Singapore. Prof Wong’s team developed advanced algorithms to monitor and record subtle changes to the retina over time. The system is designed to help doctors detect eye diseases early, even before the symptoms appear.

    The Straits Times – pg B7
    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 5

    02 Nov 2014
    Brain Tumour Society set up to raise awareness of disease

    The launch of the Brain Tumour Society on 1 Nov was held in conjunction with the first Brain Tumour Awareness Day.  As part of the Awareness Day, 20 Lamborghini, Maserati and Ferrari cars ferried patients, survivors and caregivers to locations such as Ang Mo Kio Hub and Bishan Junction 8 to hand out information kits on the disease. Some 20 paediatric patients at KK Women's and Children's Hospital were also given rides.  The non-profit organisation, which aims to raise awareness of the disease and to provide support for patients and caregivers, holds group meetings every second Saturday of the month at Singapore General Hospital.

    The Straits Times – pg 17

    31 Oct 2014
    KKH launches Temasek Cares KIDS (Kids Integrated Development Service) 0-3 programme with Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre

    KK Women's and Children's Hospital launched a new integrated community outreach initiative to optimise developmental potential in children from vulnerable families. The Temasek Cares KIDS (Kids Integrated Development Service) 0-3 programme is a pilot programme and the first in Singapore to provide a comprehensive spectrum of health and social care to mothers, starting from pregnancy and continuing till their children are three years old.

    The Straits Times – pg B2

    31 Oct 2014
    Official opening of SingHealth’s first Community Health Centre

    SingHealth’s first Community Health Centre (CHC) in Tiong Bahru was officially opened on 30 October. Supported by MOH, the CHC is set up to complement healthcare services provided by general practitioners in caring for patients with stabilised chronic conditions. Essential services offered at the CHC include eye screening through diabetic retinal photography to detect early retinal changes that can cause vision loss, diabetic foot screening, dietetic services as well as nurse counselling and health education. Since it commenced operations in July, the Centre has received referrals from close to 40 GPs.

    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 12
    The Straits Times Online

    31 Oct 2014
    SGH holds inaugural International Conference on Humanitarian Medical Missions

    Singapore General Hospital held its inaugural International Conference on Humanitarian Medical Missions from 30 Oct to 1 Nov. The conference aimed to draw up guidelines to help budding volunteer teams organise successful missions. The event also highlighted the scope of humanitarian activities across medical disciplines, and for the first time, brought volunteers together to share knowledge and expertise on medical missions. Guest-of-honour, Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-At-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs commended the efforts by the medical volunteers. Prof Venkataraman Anantharaman, Senior Consultant, Department of Emergency Medicine, SGH was featured for leading a team of medical volunteers from Singapore to Malang’s Saiful Anwar Hospital to train the doctors and nurses there.

    The Straits Times – pg B4

    30 Oct 2014
    SGH study on prevalence of human papillomavirus infections in local healthy women
    A Singapore General Hospital study, which involved close to 900 women in Singapore, has found that one in 10 healthy women is infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV). The infection was most common in those aged between 20 and 24. HPV infection rate was also higher in women with fewer years of formal education and multiple sexual partners. While most infections are naturally cleared by the body, screening tests every three years remain critical as a small proportion of infections can persist and progress to cancer. The findings of the study were published in the International Journal of STD and Aids. 

    The Straits Times – pg B6
    27 Oct 2014
    Singapore Health Age-Friendly Supplement: The patient is the focus

    Published in conjunction with the Singapore Health Age Friendly Week, this supplement outlines SingHealth’s age-friendly efforts, focused on three aspects of the care delivery system – people, environment, and processes. For example, the SingHealth 10-Point Plan identifies 10 interaction points during a patient’s visit and offers design guidelines to ensure optimal comfort and age-sensitivity at each point. Staff are trained to be more sensitive towards the unique needs of the elderly through the age-sensitisation workshops run by Tsao Foundation.

    Singapore Health (Nov-Dec 2014)

    11 Oct 2014
    SGH pioneers honoured at special tribute event

    Mrs Rosie Kwan, Senior Nurse Manager at Singapore General Hospital, was one of the 700 healthcare professionals honoured at a special pioneer generation event organised by SGH last Saturday. The tribute event celebrated the efforts of pioneer generation healthcare workers who have made significant contributions to their various medical disciplines. Rosie joined SGH at the age of 17 and has remained in service till today, rising through the ranks in a nursing career that spanned 49 years. She shared that the heavy workload does not faze her. Instead seeing patients through the recovery process makes it all worth it. Beyond caring for patients, Rosie is also a mentor to younger nurses. The article also carried mentions of Prof Foo Keong Tatt, Emeritus Consultant at SGH’s Department of Urology, as well as AHPs from SGH including Mr Ho Meng Jang, Senior Principal Occupational Therapist, Mr Albert Lee, Senior Principal Physiotherapist and Mr Peter Lee, Senior Principal Medical Social Worker.

    The New Paper

    10 Oct 2014
    Duke-NUS study: Trend found between low vitamin D and cognitive impairment in Chinese elderly

    A study by researchers at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School showed that elderly with decreased vitamin D levels were associated with almost twice as much risk of cognitive impairment compared to those with higher levels. The collaborative study, which began in 2012, involved researchers from Duke-NUS, Peking University in Beijing, China and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The correlation of vitamin D deficiency with dementia will aid research of possible treatments and would have a significant impact on geriatric and long-term care services.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 15
    TODAY Online

    09 Oct 2014
    KKH, Duke-NUS review the effects of administering epidural during different stages of childbirth

    A research collaboration between KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore Clinical Research Institute and a medical student from NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, compared the outcomes of early and late administration of epidural during childbirth. The study, published in the Cochrane Library, found that length of labour or the need for surgical intervention did not differ between women who had requested for epidural in early and late stages of childbirth. The study also concluded that the appropriate time to administer epidural is when the mother-to-be asks for it.


    05 Oct 2014
    KKH pays tribute to 400 healthcare pioneers

    KK Women's and Children's Hospital held a tribute event to honour 400 of its pioneers on 4 Oct, which was attended by the Health Minister. In his speech, he thanked the pioneers for laying the foundation for a robust health-care system and for helping Singapore achieve some of the world’s lowest death rates for newborn babies and children. Minister and Senior Minister of State Dr Amy Khor also signed their tributes on golden handprint stickers, which would be on a new wall mural in the Children’s Tower.

    The Straits Times - pg 17
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 8

    26 Sep 2014
    Official opening of NHCS new building by PM Lee Hsien Loong

    The National Heart Centre Singapore new building was officially opened by PM Lee Hsien Loong today. The new 12-storey building, which costs $266 million, is four times the size of the old one, and would be able to handle double the number of patients. PM Lee in his opening address noted that specialist centres like NHCS provide treatment of the highest quality for patients with complex cases. They are also important training grounds for generations of healthcare professionals in developing better treatments. NHCS is in the process of moving to a digital system for patients’ case notes and the institution will be a digital heart centre by December or January.

    The Straits Times - pg A6
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 4

    SundayLife (NHCS set to deliver better care with new building) - 5 October 2014, pg 11-14
    zbNOW (致力为心脏病患 提供更佳服务) - 4 October 2014, pg 5-8

    22 Sep 2014
    Free hepatitis B screenings at SGH and other public hospitals

    Public hospitals like Singapore General Hospital and National University Hospital are offering free hepatitis B screenings for 1,200 people aged 50 and above until Sunday. This is part of the annual Liver Disease Awareness Week organised by the Hepato-pancreatobiliary Association of Singapore.

    The Straits Times - pg B2

    16 Sep 2014
    NCCS wins award for effective use of technology

    National Cancer Centre Singapore and Changi General Hospital have adopted new technology to speed up care and treatment of their patients. At NCCS, the radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled system lets staff know where patients are and if treatment beds are available for use. As a result, more than half of the scheduled patients now receive treatment within 30 minutes of registration, compared to 38 per cent before. Both institutions received the Healthcare Information and Management System Society Elsevier Award.
    The Straits Times – pg B4
    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 4

    15 Sep 2014
    NCCS doctor develops ‘map’ that helps in breast cancer operations

    Dr Ong Kong Wee, Head of SingHealth Duke-NUS Breast Surgery Centre and Senior Consultant, Division of Surgical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore, has come up with a ‘map’ that identifies the positions of sentinel lymph nodes to help doctors remove them quickly and safely during sentinel lymph node biopsies, a common early-stage breast cancer surgery. The ‘map’ is a diagram of the internal structure of the armpit where the lymph nodes are found. With it, surgeons can locate the lymph nodes easily, thereby saving time and decreasing risks of cutting through essential structures such as nerves. Dr Ong hopes that with the diagram, more doctors will be able to adopt the cheaper method to benefit their patients.

    The Straits Times - pg B6

    13 Sep 2014
    One-stop cardiovascular care at new NHCS building

    The new 12-storey National Heart Centre Singapore building will be officially opened on 25 September with PM Lee as the GOH. Patient services such as the cardiac catherisation labs, pre-admission test centre, and expanded cardiac rehabilitation unit are now all housed in one building, making it more convenient for patients. Other features at the new building that provide patients a more seamless experience include the one-queue, one-bill system and a new 24-bed short-stay unit for patients who undergo day procedures. The Centre also acquired a new state-of-the-art MRI scanner with 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which has been in use since April 2014. The scanner is non-invasive and has been used for both clinical and research purposes.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 8
    Channel NewsAsia Online

    12 Sep 2014
    NHCS utilises medical technology to improve service

    National Heart Centre Singapore and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, which have utilised medical technology to provide better services, have received Stage Six Electronic Medical Record certification by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. NHCS doctors now make their clinical notes electronically and these are synchronised with online test reports and digital imaging scans to form the patient's complete medical profile. NHCS has also set-up an automated medication dispensing system, where scanning a patient's identification tag will trigger the automated medication cabinet or cart, opening the box containing the correct medication. This makes the process much more efficient.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 14

    06 Sep 2014
    National Heart Research Institute Singapore launched at the third SingHealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress

    At the opening ceremony of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress 2014, GOH President Tony Tan officially launched the National Heart Research Institute Singapore (NHRIS). The institute’s key research areas are heart function and genetics, regenerative medicine and metabolic heart disease and cardiac imaging. In conjunction with the launch, President Tony Tan also received on behalf of Cardiovascular Academic Clinical Program, a S$3 million gift cheque from the Tanoto Foundation, of which S$2.5 million will be used to set up the Tanoto Foundation Professorship in Cardiovascular Medicine and S$500,000 will fund the Tanoto Foundation Initiative for Genetics and Stem Cell Research at NHRIS. Two research breakthroughs by National Cancer Centre Singapore and Singapore Eye Research Institute were also announced by President in his opening speech.

    The Straits Times - pg B12
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 9

    05 Sep 2014
    Study led by SGH and NCCS: Combined therapy improves overall survival for patients with inoperable liver

    A multi-centre study led by Singapore General Hospital and National Cancer Centre Singapore found that patients with inoperable intermediate and advanced liver cancer may live up to 20.3 months and 8.6 months respectively when put on a combined therapy of Sorafenib and Selective Internal Radiation Therapy. Disease progression was also delayed, which meant patients are able to enjoy better quality of life for a longer period from the time therapy starts. The findings were reported in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed journal, earlier this year.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 8

    03 Sep 2014
    Study: Possible benefits for infants exposed to two languages

    A new study found that babies exposed to two languages might have better memory and process information faster than those exposed to only one. The study was done on 114 infants with half of them exposed to a second language at least 25 per cent of the time, while the others were exposed to only English 90 per cent of the time. It is part of a long-term project known as GUSTO (Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes), a collaboration between KK Women's and Children's Hospital, the A*STAR’s Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences and NUHS. Assoc Prof Leher Singh, the lead author of the study, said that “bilingual” infants take in information more rapidly, have better memory and can better recognise images. The study was published in the journal Child Development in July.

    The Straits Times - pg A3
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 9

    01 Sep 2014
    KKH doctor developed a method to detect disease-causing gene mutations

    Dr Saumya Jamuar, Consultant, Department of Paediatrics, Genetics Service at KK Women's and Children's Hospital has developed a method to detect disease-causing gene mutations that lurked in only a tiny fraction of the body’s cells, making them hard to find. Known as somatic mutations, these are not hereditary and could cause diseases from autism to schizophrenia, but cannot be detected using standard genome sequencing tests. Since such mutations could be traced, parents whose child had these could attempt another pregnancy without risk. His research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. He is currently seeking grants to apply his team’s methods to autistic patients, in hope that the technique could be used in Singapore within the next one to two years.

    The Straits Times - pg B2

    31 Aug 2014
    New heart failure drug more than doubles patients’ survival rate

    A clinical trial involving more than 8,400 patients from 47 countries, including Singapore, has proven that a new drug, LCZ696, was able to more than double the survival rate of heart failure patients, compared to the best current treatment for heart failure. According to Dr David Sim, Consultant at National Heart Centre Singapore, who is also the principal investigator of the Singapore arm of the trial, heart failure accounts for about 6,000 hospitalisations a year locally, and roughly half would die within five months of diagnosis. The new drug, which could hit the market as early as end of this year, reduces the strain on the failing heart while promoting heart muscle recovery.

    The Sunday Times – pg 4

    30 Aug 2014
    SERI study: Abnormalities in eye and kidney can predict cardiovascular disease

    Researchers from the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) have found that abnormalities in eye blood vessels and kidney function can predict that a person is close to seven times more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life. The team hopes to use the findings to refine existing CVD risk assessments, and to develop a screening test which can be used in the clinics. These findings are a first in Asia, and the team’s research will be presented at this week’s SingHealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress 2014
    The Straits Times – pg 19, 30 Aug
    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 6, 31 Aug

    29 Aug 2014
    SingHealth clinicians lauded at National Medical Excellence Award

    Three SingHealth clinicians were recognised for their significant contributions to patient care, medical research and education at the MOH National Medical Excellence Award ceremony held 28 August. Prof Chay Oh Moh, Campus Director, Education Office and Senior Consultant, Respiratory Medicine Service, Department of Paediatrics at KKH; who has taught and mentored medical students and residents in the areas of paediatrics and paediatric respiratory medicine for more than 20 years, received the National Outstanding Clinician Mentor Award. Assoc Prof Chow Wan Cheng, Chairman, Division of Medicine at SGH, received the National Outstanding Clinician Educator Award for her contributions to medical education in the field of chronic viral hepatitis. Assoc Prof Ong Biauw Chi, Director of Clinical Governance & Patient Safety at SGH received the National Outstanding Clinical Quality Activist Award, for her efforts in improving clinical governance and patient safety.

    The Straits Times – pg B7
    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 15

    28 Aug 2014
    Study: Elderly with weak hand grip strength more prone to death

    A study by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, SingHealth and Japan University showed that elderly with weak hand grip strength (HGS) were more prone to death. Conducted since 2009, the study involved 4,131 seniors between 60 to 90 years old. The outcome lays the foundation for future research and could be used to develop a hand grip exercise programme. The findings of this study will be presented at the upcoming SingHealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress 2014.

    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 16

    20 Aug 2014
    Patient discharge lounges introduced to free up hospital beds

    All acute care hospitals in Singapore will soon have patient discharge lounges. The move, announced by MOH today, would free up hospital beds by moving patients for discharge to a separate location. This is to ensure there are enough beds to meet the needs of the ageing population in Singapore. Patients preparing to be discharged can use the lounge to wait for their medication, documents and family members.  Singapore General Hospital already has such facilities in place. 

    Channel NewsAsia Online

    19 Aug 2014
    SingHealth revamps E-Appointment system to provide greater convenience for patients

    Patients who go to SingHealth institutions and Changi General Hospital for specialist outpatient treatment can now view, change or cancel their appointments via a single platform that is Health Buddy, a mobile app developed by SingHealth, as well as any of the SingHealth institutions’ websites using their SingPass. Previously, they had to log into individual institutions’ websites to do so. SingHealth is also working to reserve up to 10 per cent of appointment slots exclusively for online users by the end of the year, to encourage more patients to utilise E-Appointments and free up phone lines for patients who are less web savvy, such as the elderly. This project won first place in the service quality category of the Singapore Healthcare Management Congress Poster Competition.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 6

    09 Aug 2014
    National Day Awards winners from SingHealth

    Mr Rajasingam Rajagopal, Former Chairman of the KK Women's and Children's Hospital Medifund Committee received the Public Service Medal while Prof Victor J Dzau, SingHealth Board Member and Duke-NUS Governing Board Member, and Prof Ang Chong Lye, deputy group CEO of SingHealth and CEO, Singapore General Hospital received the Public Service Medal (Friends of Singapore) and Public Administration Medal (Gold) respectively. In addition, 153 staff from SingHealth institutions received the Long Service Medal, 34 were conferred Efficiency Medals, and 10 received Commendation Medals.

    The Straits Times - pg D5
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 14 (10 Aug)

    07 Aug 2014
    Voice-controlled surgical robot system at SGH aids gynaecological surgery

    Patients undergoing gynaecological surgery would now be able to benefit from a new voice-controlled robotic system at SGH. The ViKY Uterus Positioner (ViKY UP) robot, operated via wireless Bluetooth headset, is a motorised device that uses voice commands to control the positioning of the uterus during complex gynaecological surgeries. Dr Peter Barton-Smith, a senior consultant from SGH's department of obstetrics and gynaecology, said the robot could help the surgeon operate more precisely without it shifting or blocking their vision. SGH has performed more than 10 operations using ViKY since March.

    The Straits Times - pg B8
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 4 

    04 Aug 2014
    SGH and SCDF to evaluate vascular access methods in the treatment of cardiac arrest patients

    Paramedics here are testing a new way to get adrenaline to the heart of cardiac arrest victims - by drilling below the knee. During a cardiac arrest, it is hard for paramedics to deliver the adrenaline through an intravenous insertion as it is hard to find the vein without blood pumping through. Now, if intravenous insertion is not possible, paramedics will insert a 25mm-long needle into the leg bone below the patient's knee cap when they fail to insert an intravenous line after two attempts. This will be used to drill a small hole in the bone, which allows access to the bone marrow underneath, which connects to the body's circulatory system.

    This method could work more than 90 per cent of the time, compared to 50 per cent for the intravenous line. From this month, SCDF and SGH will evaluate the effectiveness of the drill method on 400 cardiac arrest patients over a one-year period. Over 160 SCDF paramedics have been trained to use the medical drill, which is already used in public hospitals here.

    The Straits Times - pg B4

    02 Aug 2014
    SingHealth launches new role to help patients navigate healthcare system

    SingHealth has launched the role of Patient Navigator to ensure patients with potential care issues, history of frequent readmissions and poor social support receive timely care and support as they go through the healthcare system – from tertiary to community, primary and home care. They work very closely with doctors, medical social workers, therapists, pharmacists and caregivers to develop appropriate care plans and coordinate discharge planning. With the introduction of this role, a reduction of readmission rates and average length of story for patients with complex chronic conditions is expected.

    To date, 33 nurses from the Singapore General Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and National Heart Centre Singapore have been trained as Patient Navigators and assigned to the wards to support patients and their caregivers. SingHealth plans to train a total of 400 Patient Navigators by 2018.

    The Straits Times – pg B3
    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 13

    01 Aug 2014
    SGH, IBN and NCCS developed new molecular test kit to predict treatment and survival outcomes in kidney cancer patients

    Researchers and doctors at A*STAR’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), Singapore General Hospital and National Cancer Centre Singapore have co-developed the first molecular test kit that can predict treatment and survival outcomes in kidney cancer patients. This breakthrough was recently reported in European Urology, the world’s top urology journal.

    Due to genetic variations, individual patients with a type of kidney cancer, known as the clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), respond differently to targeted therapy and have different survival outcomes. With the test kit, doctors will be able to prescribe the appropriate treatment for kidney cancer patients based on their tumour profile.

    TODAY Online – 1 Aug

    31 Jul 2014
    Advanced Practice Nurse from NNI wins President’s Award for Nurses

    Mdm Ng Wai May, Advanced Practice Nurse, Department of Neurology, National Neuroscience Institute, received the President’s Award for Nurses from President Tony Tan on 30 July, alongside Mr Yong Keng Kwang (TTSH), Mdm Sim Lai Kiow (KTPH) and Ms Karen Koh (NUH). Mdm Ng was instrumental in setting up the stroke clinic at NNI, and in raising awareness of stroke treatment through public outreach. The nurses each received a trophy, a certificate and a cash prize that could be used to attend conferences and training programmes of their choice for professional and personal development.

    The Straits Times - pg A2
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 12

    31 Jul 2014
    Researchers at SGH and Duke-NUS a step closer to finding treatment for dengue fever

    Researchers from Singapore General Hospital and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School have found that Celgosivir, a medicine derived from the seeds of the Moreton Bay Chestnut tree, is safe for patients affected by dengue. This means further trials can be done to find out how much and often it should be taken for it to be effective. The team will partner Washington-based company 60° Pharmaceuticals to test the effects of the medicine when patients take 150mg every six hours.

    The Straits Times - pg B6

    28 Jul 2014
    ‘Wearable kidney’ may offer dialysis on the go

    Singapore General Hospital and local technology company Awak are testing a portable kidney dialysis machine so that patients can have water dialysis 24 hours a day. The 1kg machine can be carried in a bag or worn as a belt, and is expected to benefit around 800 Singaporean patients on such dialysis if trials prove safe and effective. SGH plans to carry out trials on 15 patients in the fourth quarter this year.

    The Straits Times - pg B3

    28 Jul 2014
    SGH and SCDF to evaluate vascular access methods in the treatment of cardiac arrest patients

    To improve survival rate and prevent brain injury, SGH and SCDF will launch a study next month to compare conventional intravenous (IV) line versus Intraosseous access in the treatment of cardiac arrest victims.

    The study will involve 400 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients over a one-year period. If SCDF paramedics are unsuccessful in placing an IV line due to collapsed veins, they will use a powered medical drill to insert an Intraosseous catheter into an area beneath the knee joint to give a dose of adrenaline, which helps restore blood flow to the heart. Intraosseous access is rapid, safe and acts as a suitable alternative for IV access.

    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 8

    27 Jul 2014
    KKH helps cut infant deaths in Cambodia

    10 staff from KK Women's and Children's Hospital taught midwives in Cambodia’s Kampong Chhnang province on how to cope with difficult childbirth and resuscitating newborns, amongst other issues to improve pregnancy and childbirth. The training programme is part of a collaboration between KKH and Social Capital Venture Development, a non-profit organisation in Cambodia. KKH, supported by the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation (TCTF), trained 56 midwives in 2013 and 60 this year. KKH’s director of Paediatrics International Medical Programme Assoc Prof Anette Jacobsen said that both infant and maternal deaths have declined.

    The Sunday Times - pg 16

    26 Jul 2014
    NHCS introduces a new kind of defibrillator for heart patients

    Doctors at National Heart Centre Singapore have started to use a new kind of defibrillator, with wires that go under the patient’s skin but do not touch the heart or veins. Typically, heart patients are permanently wired up to a defibrillator connected to the heart via a vein. The lead of the defibrillator in the heart is usually under a lot of stress, leading to the need to remove the wire due to wear and tear. The new procedure makes removing the wire easier and is relevant for individuals on dialysis, whose veins are already under pressure, or patients under 40, who are more likely to have their wires wear out with time. The centre has carried the new procedure out on five patients, representing 10 per cent of those who need an internal defibrillator but were not suited for the conventional treatment.

    The Straits Times - pg B2

    25 Jul 2014
    New heads at SNEC and NDCS from 1 August

    Prof Wong Tien Yin, deputy medical director of the Singapore National Eye Centre, will step up to head the centre from Friday, replacing current medical director Prof Donald Tan, who will be appointed senior adviser at SNEC. Prof Wong will also take on the position of academic chair in the SingHealth Duke-NUS Ophthalmology Academic Clinical Programme, and step down from the executive directorship of the Singapore Eye Research Institute.

    Assoc Prof Poon Choy Yoke, deputy executive director at the National Dental Centre Singapore, has been appointed its next director. From 1 August, Assoc Prof Poon will replace current executive director Assoc Prof Kwa Chong Teck, who will be appointed senior adviser of NDCS. Assoc Prof Poon will also become academic chair of the newly established SingHealth Duke-NUS Oral Health Academic Clinical Programme.

    The Straits Times Online

    24 Jul 2014
    Singapore scientists develop POLARIS blood test to detect genetic eye disease

    Singapore National Eye Centre, A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore, Singapore General Hospital and National University Hospital have developed Asia’s first genetic test as part of the POLARIS programme for identifying patients with corneal stromal dystrophy. It is a type of genetic eye disease that affects the cornea and can lead to blurring and loss of vision. This first made-in-Singapore genetic test can help those with a family history of the disease predict how likely they are to get it, how fast it will progress and whether they should avoid Lasik vision surgery, which can cause it to flare up.

    The Straits Times - pg B5
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 6 (29 July)

    21 Jul 2014
    NCCS, SGH and Duke-NUS scientists discover genetic cause of common breast tumours

    Scientists from National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore General Hospital and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School have discovered the genetic cause of fibroadenomas, a common benign breast tumour diagnosed in about 3,000 women in Singapore annually. The team identified frequent mutations in a gene called MED12 in 60 per cent of fibroadenoma cases, and found that measuring this gene in breast lumps may better help clinicians differentiate between benign and malignant breast tumours. This discovery could help in the clinical diagnosis of breast tumours to help alleviate episodes of surgery, relieve anxiety and reduce hospitalisation costs. The team would be doing further studies on the MED12 gene and its role in other categories of breast tumours.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 7
    The Straits Times - pg B2 (23 July 2014)

    17 Jul 2014
    SGH study: Muslim patients on warfarin should monitor dosage closely during fasting period

    A team of pharmacists and doctors from the Departments of Pharmacy and Haematology, SGH conducted a 12-week study in 2012 to look at the effects of fasting in Muslim patients taking warfarin. They found that fasting makes this group of patients more likely to veer out of the ideal blood-thickness range. The effect can be detrimental as patients also tend to remain outside of this range for a longer period of time. Closer monitoring or dosage adjustment may therefore be necessary for some Muslim patients during fasting period. The findings were published in Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis late last year.

    The Straits Times - pg B2

    12 Jul 2014
    One Medifund Assessment Initiative launched at SingHealth institutions

    With the launch of the One Medifund Assessment Initiative in November last year, patients suffering from multiple medical conditions only need to apply once for Medifund assistance with SingHealth institutions.  The new initiative which involved in-depth collaboration between medical social workers across SingHealth, saves patients the need of going through a 45-minute review process at different institutions. The assessment is valid for a period of six months. One Medifund Assessment is a cluster-wide initiative under the joint direction of Group Allied Health office and the Office for Service Transformation which was set up by SingHealth to improve service and patient care.

    The Straits Times – pg B11 (12 July)
    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 6 (11 July)

    09 Jul 2014
    NNI uses new software to reduce radiation during CT scans

    A quality improvement project by the National Neuroscience Institute has further reduced radiation doses of CT scans to enhance patient safety. Over a nine-month period involving over 1,000 patients, the team deployed Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction 3D (AIDR), a software that optimises the reconstructed image so that scanning can be performed at lower current settings. The images were measured against those taken before the project, by a panel of six neuroradiologists assessing the diagnostic quality of the images. The team managed to reduce the effective radiation dose for CT head scans by 28 per cent, Cranial CT angiogram scans by 11.6 per cent and CT brain perfusion scans by 30 per cent without their comprising diagnostic image quality.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 8

    07 Jul 2014
    NCCS doctor among six who won Singapore Youth Award

    Dr Iain Tan, Consultant, Division of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore was one of the six winners of the Singapore Youth Award 2014. Over 115 people were nominated for the award this year for being a role model to young people. Dr Iain Tan shared on his work as a research scientist and medical doctor. He says cancer patients always face the risk of their cancer returning even though it has been removed, adding that if detected early, colorectal cancer patients can still be cured even if the cancer relapses. Dr Tan is currently working on finding new diagnostic methods for early detection of cancer recurrence. 

    The Straits Times – pg B4
    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 8

    04 Jul 2014
    KKH one of the most mother-friendly organisations in Singapore

    KK Women's and Children's Hospital was one of the winners of the "Best Companies for Mums" award, alongside firms like McDonald's, OCBC, and SingTel. The awards, jointly organised by the National Trades Union Congress Women’s Development Secretariat and Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices - saw 69 companies and individuals recognised for their family-friendly practices last Friday.

    Channel NewsAsia Online

    03 Jul 2014
    Duke-NUS researchers: Lack of sleep will cause your brain to age faster

    A study by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School’s researchers found that older adults who sleep less show evidence of a more rapid decline in cognitive performance. The findings were based on a 10-year study of 66 Chinese adults aged 55 years and above. Dr June Lo, the lead author and a Duke-NUS Research Fellow said their findings relate short sleep to a marker of brain aging. Past research has shown that faster brain ventricle enlargement is a marker for cognitive decline and the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. The School said the findings are relevant given Singapore's rapidly ageing society, and hopes the study paves the way for future work on sleep loss and its contribution to cognitive decline, including dementia.

    Channel NewsAsia Online
    Lianhe Zaobao – pg 19

    02 Jul 2014
    KKH and Temasek Cares collaborate to launch programmes for children

    Temasek Cares, the non-profit philanthropic arm of local investment company Temasek Holdings, has set aside $60 million to support social programmes over the next five years. This includes a three-year pilot programme called Temasek Cares Kids Integrated Developmental Service (Kids) 0-3, led by Temasek Cares and KK Women's and Children's Hospital. The programme is expected to start later this year and help 300 children in one neighbourhood before expanding to others. 

    Other programmes which involve KKH include: Kids in Tough Situations (Kits), Support Autism through Family Empowerment (Safe), and Equine-Assisted Learning (Equal).

    2 July
    The Straits Times, pg B4
    Lianhe Zaobao, pg 6

    5 July
    The Straits Times, pg B16-17

    30 Jun 2014
    KKH conducts camp for eczema sufferers

    The high number of eczema cases among children has prompted KK Women's and Children's Hospital to run its first day-long camp for sufferers. Held last Friday for 60 severe eczema patients and their family members, the camp touched not only on treatment but also on helping children work through emotional and psychological issues brought about by the condition. KKH's dermatology service sees five to eight new cases each day.

    The Straits Times - pg B2

    27 Jun 2014
    Group Director of Research on integrating academic research with improved health care

    In an opinion piece contributed to The Straits Times, Prof Wong Tien Yin, Group Director of Research, SingHealth shared learnings from his Eisenhower Fellowship in the US, concluding that Singapore should build Academic Medical Centres that bridge hospitals and universities which are sustained by a virtuous loop between better patient care and research outcomes. He also opined that the country should develop a diversity of talent and engage the public as a key stakeholder in the health-care innovation journey. Prof Wong is also Vice Dean of Clinical Sciences, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and Deputy Medical Director, Singapore National Eye Centre.

    The Straits Times – pg A27

    26 Jun 2014
    Singapore Health wins Award of Excellence at APEX 2014

    The Sep-Oct 2013 issue of Singapore Health won the APEX Award of Excellence (Healthy & Medical Materials category).  Published by SingHealth and SGH, the bi-monthly patient education newspaper is distributed at various health establishments throughout Singapore, as well as high traffic points in the city. The publication has been winning awards yearly for its editorial content since its inception in 2009.


    23 Jun 2014
    KKH partners PA to teach community first aid skills

    In a partnership with People’s Association, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital introduced the Super Bear First Aid Games to teach Bedok residents how to perform first aid for children through interactive games. Participants will also learn how to manage injuries on their own before going to A&E, as well as how to prevent accidents at home. The games will be piloted at five other towns such as Geylang Serai, Braddell Heights and Punggol.

    My Paper Chinese

    23 Jun 2014
    NUS student collaborates with SGH to develop medical device

    An industrial design student at NUS collaborated with Singapore General Hospital’s Department of Physiotherapy to create a device that could move a patient in a safe, efficient and inexpensive way. Flipod, a compact inflation system can be strapped onto the backs of non-ambulant patients to relieve respiratory and bed discomfort. It is currently undergoing a patent application process.
    TODAY Online

    19 Jun 2014
    NCCS doctor hand-cycles 500km to raise funds for cancer patients

    Dr William Tan, Resident Physician at National Cancer Centre Singapore, will hand-cycle 500km  from London to Paris, to raise funds for needy patients at the National University Hospital and for cancer research at the NCCS. He aims to raise at least $50,000. Click here to learn more. 

    Straits Times Mind Your Body - pg 20

    18 Jun 2014
    SGH physiotherapists develop shoulder rehab device with Ngee Ann Poly students

    Four students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and physiotherapists from Singapore General Hospital developed a portable device that can be used by patients recovering from shoulder injuries to rebuild their strength. The device was unveiled at an MOU signing ceremony between SingHealth and Ngee Ann to collaborate on healthcare devices. Both organisations hold a joint patent for the prototype, which will soon be commercialised and sold in September by local technology company Nextan. The need for such innovative devices, especially for home rehabilitation therapy, will continue to grow with Singapore’s rapidly ageing population and more patients suffering from musculoskeletal disorders.

    The Straits Times - pg B7
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 9

    15 Jun 2014
    Prof Victor Dzau takes over as president of the US National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine from 1 July

    Prof Victor Dzau, board member of SingHealth and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, will be taking over as president of the United States National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine from 1 July, where he will advise the US Congress, government agencies, and the White House for the next six years on health, medicine, and biomedical science issues. Prof Dzau believes that Singapore should have its own version of this institute, as its independence allows experts to tackle areas that may be politically sensitive with balanced, objective recommendations. Prof Dzau, who was instrumental in setting up Duke-NUS, also shared his recommendations on addressing infrastructural issues like the hospital bed crunch and shortage of nurses.

    The Sunday Times - pg 39

    11 Jun 2014
    Art initiatives at Bright Vision Hospital bring cheer to patients

    Thankful to Bright Vision Hospital staff for nursing their mother back to health, two sisters Ms Dorothy Ng and Ms Catherine Ng collected 200 art pieces and photographs from 43 artists and donors and displayed them around BVH to make the place more conducive for healing. They also roped in advertising company Bonsey Design to facilitate patients, caregivers, and staff in creating colourful wall murals.  Singaporean painter Ms Tan Ai Ngin, who was warded at BVH before she succumbed to tongue cancer in November last year, donated some of her work to raise funds for needy patients. The exhibition will be held at BVH till November 2014.

    zbNOW - pg 3

    10 Jun 2014
    Contemporary art exhibition at SGH Museum

    SGH Museum collaborated with Singaporean curator Susie Wong for the first time to present [The Machine] Contemplating The Body, a contemporary art exhibition featuring works by six local and overseas artists.  The artworks are displayed alongside SGH Museum’s own collection of historical medical objects, interacting with the artefacts to create new dialogues that add to the Hospital’s own narrative. The exhibition will be on display until 30 June.

    The Straits Times - pg C2 

    09 Jun 2014
    New drug for advanced liver cancer undergoes trials in Singapore

    A new drug to treat late-stage liver cancer patients, Yttrium-90, has been shown to shrink tumours more quickly and at a lower price than the more commonly used Sorafenib. The two drugs are undergoing head-to-head clinical trials to see which is better, at the Singapore General Hospital, National Cancer Centre Singapore, National University Hospital and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital. Prof Pierce Chow, Senior Consultant, Department of General Surgery, SGH, shared that liver cancers here are largely caused by hepatitis B while those in the West are caused by hepatitis C and alcohol, so studies need to be done to see if Yttrium-90 is as effective here.

    The Straits Times - pg A3

    08 Jun 2014
    SingHealth Group Research Director on his research in major eye diseases

    Prof Wong Tien Yin, SingHealth’s Group Director, Research, and Deputy Medical Director of Research at SNEC, shared his thoughts about the importance and key findings of his team’s research on two major eye diseases – age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Prof Wong shared about the changing research landscape in Singapore. He noted that there are 10 to 15 third-generation clinician scientists receiving training at SERI, as compared to first-generation clinician scientists such as Prof Donald Tan, SNEC’s Medical Director, and Prof Aung Tin, SERI’s Executive Director, who had to do everything much on their own. Prof Wong also shared his advice to aspiring researchers.

    The Sunday Times - pg 41

    06 Jun 2014
    SingHealth does more to help elderly patients

    SingHealth has implemented a slew of elderly-friendly initiatives, such as age sensitisation workshops for staff and the upgrading of amenities. For example, Singapore General Hospital has a shuttle service that picks up wheelchair users from Outram Park MRT station, wheelchair parking spots in some waiting areas, and colour-coded clinics. SingHealth also unveiled a plan last year which provides design guidelines for 10 check points in a patient’s healthcare journey, including drop-off areas, waiting rooms and common areas like toilets. 

    The Straits Times - pg B14

    05 Jun 2014
    New nanomedicine by SERI and NTU scientists to bring relief to glaucoma patients

    Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and NTU scientists jointly developed a new nanomedicine that allows glaucoma patients to do away with daily eye drops. The treatment involves a painless injection to the front of the eye, which delivers millions of nano-sized capsules that release anti-glaucoma drugs slowly over six months. Co-lead scientist Assoc Prof Tina Wong, senior consultant ophthalmologist with SNEC’s Glaucoma Service, and head of the Ocular Therapeutics and Drug Delivery Research Group at SERI, hopes the nanomedicine will benefit the elderly who often forget to apply daily eye drops or find it “too troublesome” to do so. Larger scale clinical trials are being planned to pave the way for eventual release to the market.

    The Straits Times - pg B7
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 4 (4 June 2014)

    03 Jun 2014
    NCCS launches a one-stop clinic for liver cancer patients

    Liver cancer patients can now visit a one-stop clinic, known as the Comprehensive Liver Cancer Clinic at National Cancer Centre Singapore  for treatment. the clinic reduces waiting time for patients and streamlines the treatment process significantly. Patients do not have to make multiple appointments as they can be attended to by one or more specialists at the same time, without having to travel between NCCS and other hospitals for treatment. NCCS will also run clinical trials to provide patients with more treatment options—especially for those in the later stages of cancer.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 7
    Straits Times Online

    01 Jun 2014
    More students admitted to Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School

    The number of students admitted to Duke-NUS has doubled since its first batch of students in 2007. In future, the school has plans to accept up to 70 students. Speaking at the graduation ceremony for the school’s fourth batch of graduates on Saturday, Prof Ranga Krishnan, Dean of Duke-NUS and Board Member of SingHealth, expressed appreciation towards SingHealth doctors whose guidance and coaching fuelled greater interests among high-calibre and passionate potential students to enrol. Minister in the PMO’s office Mr S Iswaran noted that Duke-NUS students have been prolific in research and creating patents, citing examples about students who secured a patent for an integrated medical device to diagnose lumps in the neck.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 6

    30 May 2014
    Nano-probe technology on trial at KKH

    Local researchers have found a better and faster way to gauge how much blood-thinning drugs a patient needs - by using gold nanoparticles that have been designed to recognise three of the most common genetic variants for warfarin response. The new test, developed by the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), allows doctors to work out a patient’s genetics through a simple colour-coded test. The test has been validated by National Cancer Centre Singapore, National University Cancer Institute, and Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Taiwan. The report noted that the application of this new method is not restricted to only blood-thinning drugs and the nano-probes can be modified to detect other genetic make-ups as well. The technology is currently on trial at KK Women's and Children's Hospital in relation to carbamazepine, a drug used for epilepsy treatment.

    TODAY Online

    29 May 2014
    SNEC gets accreditation from International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel for Ophthalmology

    Singapore National Eye Centre is the first in Southeast Asia to be accredited by the IJCAHPO which provides international accreditation by setting academic standards by ophthalmic training programmes to enhance the quality and availability of ophthalmic patient care.

    The Straits Times Online

    24 May 2014
    NHCS medical social worker awarded Distinguished Star Service Award

    Ms Jan Koh, senior medical social worker, National Heart Centre Singapore, was one of the ten public officers awarded the Distinguished Star Service Award at the Excellence in Public Service Awards held 23 May. It is one of the top honours at the annual event organised by the Public Service Division, and it recognises public officers who go the extra mile in service. The winners received their awards from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is minister-in-charge of the civil service.

    The Straits Times - pg A8

    23 May 2014
    Prof Terrance Chua takes over as NHCS Medical Director from 1 June 2014

    Prof Koh Tian Hai, Medical Director of NHCS since 2003 will pass the leadership baton to his deputy, Prof Terrance Chua with effect from 1 June 2014. Prof Chua will also take on the position as Academic Chair, SingHealth Duke-NUS Cardiovascular Academic Clinical Program (ACP). In recognition of his contributions and valuable experience, Prof Koh will be appointed to the SingHealth Board of Advisors and conferred the title of Senior Advisor, NHCS, with effect from 1 June 2014.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 21

    23 May 2014
    SingHealth and National Healthcare Group streamline ethics review

    SingHealth and NHG signed a memorandum of understanding on 22 May to centralise their ethics review processes and exchange expertise. From July, when the ethics review board of one healthcare group approves a study, this will be accepted by the other group, and vice versa. This move will increase efficiency and enhance the translation of research from bench to bedside – benefitting patients and citizens.

    The Straits Times - pg B9

    17 May 2014
    NUS, Duke-NUS and NHCS research on Omega-3 fatty acids

    A research study by NUS, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and National Heart Centre Singapore affirms that Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for the heart and can reduce the risk of death from heart diseases. The research team had studied more than 63,000 local Chinese on their dietary and lifestyle habits, as well as medical history, from 1993 to 2011. Assoc Prof Koh Woon Puay from Duke-NUS’ Office of Clinical Sciences and NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, who led the study, shared that while there has been other research proving the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, not many are population-based studies that look at people’s dietary options. Dr Angela Koh, Associate Consultant, Department of Cardiology, NHCS shared that the team hopes to do further studies with the research participants to better understand the relationship between dietary habits and longevity. The study’s findings were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology last December.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 16

    16 May 2014
    SingHealth programme to help Makassar deal with disasters

    A team of medical practitioners from Singapore General Hospital’s Department of Emergency Medicine and Division of Surgery and KK Women's and Children's Hospital’s Department of Children's Emergency, will create a Disaster Medicine Education Programme to help Makassar, Indonesia deal with disasters over a period of two years.  The aim of the SingHealth programme is to strengthen the capabilities of hospitals and the local disaster management team to deal with emergencies during disaster. Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth, shared that SingHealth, as a healthcare leader in the region, is privileged to be able to share best practices and expertise in disaster management, which will make a meaningful, continuing impact on the people of Makassar.

    Channel NewsAsia Online

    15 May 2014
    SGH doctor wins Healthcare Humanity Award

    Dr Puneet Seth, Consultant at Singapore General Hospital’s Department of Emergency Medicine received the Honourable Mention Award at the Annual Healthcare Humanity Awards. Dr Seth was in Philippines within days after Super Typhoon Haiyan struck to help treat the injured and the sick.

    The Straits Times - pg B5

    12 May 2014
    SingHealth Polyclinics has new enquiry hotline

    Starting today, patients visiting any of the nine SingHealth Polyclinics can dial 6643 6969 to check on the registration status beforehand. On days with heavy patient load, SingHealth Polyclinics will close registration early to ensure doctors have time to provide adequate care to patients. However, this applies only to non-emergency cases. Patients with medical emergencies, such as those with shortness of breath, high fever or chest pains, will still be attended to by the doctors immediately.

    Channel NewsAsia Online


    09 May 2014
    Official Opening of Family Medicine Clinic Chinatown by SingHealth and TriLink

    The Family Medicine Clinic (FMC) Chinatown, jointly set up by SingHealth and private general practitioner group TriLink FMC, officially opened last Thursday. Located at Chinatown Point, the FMC is part of the Government’s Primary Care Masterplan to leverage the strengths of public and private sectors to provide comprehensive and integrated care for patients with stable chronic conditions. Staffed by doctors trained in Family Medicine, the FMC caters mainly to patients referred by SingHealth’s hospitals and national specialty centres, but also serves walk-in patients.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 12

    06 May 2014
    Duke-NUS study shows plant-based diet lowers risk of hip fracture

    A study by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School has found that a healthy diet rich in plant-based food such as vegetables, fruit and soya could reduce the risk of hip fractures by strengthening the bones. It also found that having a healthy diet, rather than focusing on a particular food or nutrient, could provide health benefits such as preventing chronic diseases. The findings were derived from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, the largest population-based research conducted here, which looked into lifestyle and diet factors of major chronic diseases in Singapore. Assoc Prof Koh Woon Puay from Duke-NUS’ Office of Clinical Sciences, who led the study, shared that the results are generalisable to other populations or ethnic groups, and will be helpful in promoting health among all Singaporeans.

    TODAY Online

    05 May 2014
    Prof Victor Dzau and Duke-NUS faculty get prestigious NUS awards

    Prof Victor J Dzau, board member of SingHealth and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, received the Outstanding Service Award from NUS last Thursday. Prof Dzau is an international health leader and cardiovascular researcher, and currently the president and CEO of Duke University Health System. He is credited for his contributions as the initial proponent and force behind the creation of Duke-NUS, as well as for playing a key role in establishing the partnership between SingHealth and Duke-NUS. The report noted that NUS is also conferring the Emeritus Professorship title on four faculty members, including Prof Doyle G Graham and Prof Augustus John Rush from Duke-NUS.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 8

    05 May 2014
    SGH and KKH doctors on non-invasive prenatal testing

    A new non-invasive test to screen foetuses for Down Syndrome is now available in Singapore General Hospital and KK Women's and Children's Hospital.  Previously, in a process called amniocentesis, doctors had to insert a needle into the mother’s belly and draw fluids to test for indicators of Down Syndrome. This process carries a small risk of miscarriage. The new test, called the Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT), saves mothers from that risk as doctors only need to draw blood from the mother’s forearm and test the sample which contains foetal DNA fragments. However, doctors shared that the results of the NIPT must be interpreted with caution or else mothers might terminate their pregnancies wrongly.

    The Straits Times - pg B6

    02 May 2014
    KKH implements dedicated response code for maternal cardiac arrest

    KK Women's and Children's Hospital is the first in Singapore to assign a dedicated response code for maternal cardiac arrests. Even though such emergencies are rare, resuscitation is more challenging due to anatomical and physiological changes during pregnancy. Dr Deepak Mathur, Consultant at KKH Dept of Women’s Anaesthesia who led the implementation of the code last month, said prompt and effective intervention can enhance the survival of both mother and child. Resuscitation for cardiac arrests during pregnancy is complicated because the weight of the growing baby in an enlarged womb presses on the mother’s large blood vessels, affecting the heart’s ability to supply oxygen to vital organs.

    TODAY Online

    02 May 2014
    SNEC, SERI and Duke-NUS doctors among top 100 most influential people in Ophthalmology

    Prof Donald Tan, Medical Director, SNEC; Prof Aung Tin, Executive Director of SERI; and Prof Saw Seang Mei, Epidemiology and Ophthalmology, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, who holds a professorship in Neuroscience & Behavioral Disorders Program in Duke-NUS, were listed as the world’s 100 most influential people in ophthalmology by a British professional journal. Prof Donald Tan is ranked third among the Who’s Who in eye care and cited for his roles in myopia trials, cornea surgery and transplant. It was also noted that Prof Tan holds the patent to an instrument that is now widely used in eye transplants. Prof Wong Tien Yin, Group Director of Research, SingHealth, was also highlighted in the journal as the most prolific author on diabetic macular edema, a major cause of vision loss in diabetics.

    The Straits Times - pg B3

    30 Apr 2014
    KKH, NUHS and A*STAR’s SICS to start two studies on pregnancy

    A*STAR’s Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS), KK Women's and Children's Hospital and National University Health System will start a study in September involving 900 women in Singapore who want to have children. It will track their health, from before they become pregnant to when they deliver, and beyond. The babies will also be studied until they turn two years old, for a start. In a separate study that is expected to start early next year, SICS and NUHS will partner a firm to see how women’s diets can be changed to reduce their risk of gestational diabetes. This will be a three-country project involving Singapore, Britain and New Zealand, so that results can be compared across Asians, Polynesians and Caucasians.

    The Straits Times - pg B6

    25 Apr 2014
    NCCS researcher elected as member of American Society of Clinical Investigation

    Prof Teh Bin Tean, Principal Investigator at NCCS has been elected as a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. The report noted Prof Teh’s excellent research achievements in liver cancer and Asian cancer genes, and his win of the prestigious Singapore Translational Research Investigator Award in 2009. A total of 76 doctors and scientists from across the globe have been elected into the society this year.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 17

    24 Apr 2014
    SGH music therapist and NNI doctor on rehab therapies for Parkinson’s disease patients

    The Music and Creative Therapy Unit at SGH has been providing Neurologic Music Therapy to Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients for the past three years, helping to enhance the cognition, movement, and communication functions of PD patients. On dance therapy, Professor Meg Morris, Head of the School of Allied Health at La Trobe University, Melbourne, shared about the benefits of dance and how it is tailored to the needs of different PD patients. Both Ms Chiang and Prof Morris were speakers at the recent 6th Singapore International Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Symposium. Dr Tay Kay Yaw, Consultant, Department of Neurology, NNI, was also interviewed on the common symptoms and treatment options for PD.

    Lianhe Zaobao NOW - pg 2

    24 Apr 2014
    SGH team invents technique to restore voices

    An SGH team invented a surgical technique which has helped restore the voices of patients who have lost their ability to speak due to illness or accident. Comprising Dr David Lau, Visiting Consultant at SGH and his colleagues, the team is currently improving on the technique with a new device to enable patients to have their voices back immediately. Ms Elizabeth Roche, Senior Principal Speech Therapist at SGH, explained how patients learn to speak again post-procedure. SGH patient Mr Tee Poh Huat, whose voice was restored through this technique, was also interviewed.

    The Straits Times (Mind Your Body) - pg 12

    19 Apr 2014
    NNI-led study zooms in on culprit behind Alzheimer’s

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) could be caused by a protein in the body going haywire, and a research study led by National Neuroscience Institute has uncovered its function that could point to how it is linked to AD. The study found that the protein, called the amyloid precursor protein (APP), indirectly controls new brain cells’ growth and maturity by regulating a molecule called the microRNA-574-5p, which is involved in creating neurons in the brain. This implies that problems with the APP could lead to abnormal levels of the molecule, affecting neurons’ creation and eventually leading to AD. The team, led by NNI in collaboration with Duke-NUS and A*STAR hopes to build on this discovery and create a non-invasive way of detecting the onset of dementia within the next five years.

    The Straits Times - pg B14
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 12

    17 Apr 2014
    KKH partners Temasek Cares to train 60 child trauma therapists

    KK Women's and Children's Hospital will train 60 social workers, therapists and school counsellors over the next three years to help children who had been exposed to traumatic situations, under a pilot programme called Temasek Cares Kids in Tough Situations (KITS). The $1.5 million project is funded by Temasek Cares, a non-profit philanthropic organisation. 1,920 children and their caregivers are expected to benefit from this programme. KITS will build a long-term sustainability by taking a train-the-trainer approach, with the aim to boost the long-term capacity of the community to support children in the event of emergencies.

    The Straits Times - pg B16
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 14

    16 Apr 2014
    NDCS in three-year research tie-up with NTU

    National Dental Centre Singapore surgeons will be trained on formal research methodologies in a tie-up with NTU, producing more dental surgeons who can do research. This could lead to more innovative techniques and devices for improved patient care. Such a pool of clinician-scientists could also attract pharmaceutical companies to base more clinical trials in Singapore.

    The Straits Times - pg B4
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 4

    14 Apr 2014
    10 Asian countries support "Tobacco Free Generation" project by NCCS

    A project by National Cancer Centre Singapore to push for a Tobacco-Free Generation (TFG) has garnered the support of 10 other countries in Asia. Eleven directors of leading cancer centres in Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Turkey and Vietnam have come together to agree on a course of action to limit the sale and use of tobacco products in their respective countries and make Asia tobacco-free. They pledged their support through the Goyang Declaration, named after the city north of Seoul, South Korea, where the meeting was held recently.

    Channel NewsAsia Online

    13 Apr 2014
    NNI doctors on stem cell therapies in Parkinson’s disease

    Stem cell therapies promising instant results for Parkinson’s disease (PD) have not been scientifically proven. Prof Eldad Melamed from Israel’s Tel Aviv University, who was a speaker at the recent 6th Singapore International Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Symposium, shared that there have been small success but nothing robust thus far in stem cell research for PD, and that patients should not be misled by such therapies. Until such treatments are proven to be of benefit and published in scientific journals that objectively scrutinise their procedures, the National Neuroscience Institute encourages the medical community and patients to support and participate only in cell therapy studies that are a part of a research programme affiliated with a recognised academic institution.

    The Sunday Times - pg 44

    10 Apr 2014
    SGH offers new radioactive therapy for prostate cancer patients

    Singapore is the first country in Asia-Pacific to offer a breakthrough radioactive therapy, the radioisotope radium-223, or Xofigo, produced by Bayer Healthcare. It is injected to target bone sites which the cancer has spread and do not respond to conventional therapy. It has fewer side effects and prolongs the life of those in the advanced stages of this disease. HSA had approved it for use here in January this year. The clinical trials proved so successful that it stopped early so that patients on placebo can receive the real treatment instead. National Cancer Centre Singapore and Singapore General Hospital are two of the four centres here taking part in the ongoing Asian clinical trial. The therapy is available at SGH, NUH and Parkway Health.

     The Straits Times (Mind Your Body) - pg 10

    09 Apr 2014
    Joint study by SGH and NCCS shows parathyroid gland injection can replace surgery

    One side effect of kidney dialysis is overactive parathyroid glands, which could lead to a loss of calcium, resulting in bones becoming soft and deformed. A joint study by Singapore General Hospital and National Cancer Centre Singapore has now shown that injecting minced tissue produces much faster results with normal tissue function being restored after two months, compared to nine months with conventional surgery. Patients also recovered faster with less scarring.

    The Straits Times - pg B4
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 13

    05 Apr 2014
    National Dental Centre Singapore to get new clinic in $4m revamp

    National Dental Centre Singapore will undergo a renovation costing more than $4 million later this year to better meet the needs of frail and elderly patients. It will house a new specialist clinic for aged and disabled patients due to open next year. The clinic will boast a team of multi-disciplinary dentists, X-ray facilities and an operating theatre. The Centre will remain open during the renovation, which will see ramps and wider doorways added to better accommodate patients in beds or those with mobility problems.

    The Straits Times - pg B6
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 10

    05 Apr 2014
    NNI on the use of stem cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease

    Although the use of stem cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease is still in its research phase, some commercial establishments have started offering such therapies to patients. As the outcomes of many such treatments are not scientifically substantiated, the National Neuroscience Institute encourages the medical community and patients to support and participate only in cell therapy studies that are part of a research programme affiliated with a recognised academic institution. NNI’s position is in line with that of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS), which commissioned a review and issued a position paper on this in 2013. Prof Louis Tan, Senior Consultant, Department of Neurology, NNI, who is also Chairman of MDS for the Asia and Oceania section, shared that NNI fully supports and is actively involved in the research of cell-based therapies. However, it takes this position until such treatments are proven to be of benefit and published in recognised scientific journals that objectively scrutinise their procedures. NNI is currently working with A*STAR on cell-based therapy research for Parkinson’s disease.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 14

    01 Apr 2014
    Singapore General Hospital patients involved in tele-rehabilitation trial

    NUS researchers are conducting a clinical trial to determine whether tele-rehabilitation which allows therapists to monitor patients’ progress and exercises remotely, is effective in helping stroke patients recover in a home setting. The trial started with thirteen patients from SGH and Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital and the researchers hope to extend it to 50 patients in the next two years. Under the trial, patients do exercises prescribed by therapists by watching videos on Apple iPads. Sensors are attached to the body parts that patients exercise and data is transmitted via Bluetooth to the iPad. Patients can tell if they are carrying out the movements correctly as the word “good” flashes on the iPad if they are. Without government subsidies, each rehabilitation session would cost $50, amounting to some $600 for three months. In comparison, it would cost $2,400 to hire a therapist for home visits over the same period.

    The Straits Times - pg B5
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 8

    31 Mar 2014
    National Cancer Centre Singapore received $50 million donation from Goh Foundation

    Goh Foundation donated $50 million to National Cancer Centre Singapore, the largest single donation the Centre has received in its 14-year history. The bulk of the donation will go towards funding Southeast Asia's first proton therapy machine. Proton therapy is a form of cutting-edge radiation treatment that can reduce unwanted side effects on cancer patients. It can also be used to treat recurrent cancers that standard radiation therapy may not be able to. The $140 million machine will be housed in NCCS's new premises on the Singapore General Hospital campus, which will be ready by 2018.

    The Straits Times - pg B5

    30 Mar 2014
    SingHealth Transplant’s recipients, living donors and staff participate in OCBC Cycle 2014

    More than 30 transplant recipients, living donors and healthcare professionals from SingHealth participated in the OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014 to celebrate the gift of life that transplants bring and to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation. Cyclists from SingHealth also took part in The Business Times Charity Challenge (40km) to raise money for TRUEfund – a fund set up to provide subsidies for needy patients and to finance educational and research programmes.

    The Sunday Times - pg 51 (23 March 2014)  
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 23 (23 March 2014)
    The Business Times - pg 3 (26 March 2014)
    The Business Times - pg 4 (31 March 2014)

    29 Mar 2014
    16 patients and 17 caregivers honoured for being an inspiration

    16 patients and 17 caregivers were honoured at the Singapore Health Inspirational Patient and Caregiver Award for their extraordinary show of courage and resilience in the face of adversity. One of them was Mdm Foo Yip Mun, a patient from National Neuroscience Institute who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ten years ago. Having to breathe through a ventilator, be fed through a gastronomy tube, and communicate using eye signals was a huge blow to Mdm Foo, but she picked herself up for the sake of her loved ones. She is now learning hanyu pinyin so she can type in Chinese using her gaze interaction device.  Caregiver winner Mr Kua Sim Choon had been caring for his stepson ever since the latter sustained severe head injuries from a traffic accident 11 years ago. Despite financial difficulty, he insists on taking his stepson to physiotherapy sessions at Bright Vision Hospital, with the hope that his stepson would be able to walk on his own one day.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 14

    28 Mar 2014
    NHCS doctor on advanced artificial valve

    Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), an advanced medical technology brought in from overseas in 2009, has proven itself successful in adding years to patients’ lives. Assoc Prof Paul Chiam, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology, National Heart Centre Singapore, noted that the artificial valve can last a patient about ten years, as compared to five years in the past. This has brought about new hopes to patients, such as 83-year-old Mr Deng Yi Chang, who was the first patient with severe narrowing of the aortic valve in Asia to implant the artificial valve into the aorta through the catheter five years ago.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 6

    28 Mar 2014
    SGH doctor on hearing loss risk for youths

    A study conducted by Singapore General Hospital’s Ear, Nose, Throat specialists and Temasek Polytechnic’s engineering lecturers found that at least one in six Singapore youths face the risk of hearing loss, caused by listening to loud music on portable players.  Dr Barrie Tan, Head, Department of Otolaryngology, SGH, shared that generally this loss is in the ability to hear high-pitch sound so they may miss parts of words or sentences.

    The Straits Times - pg A3

    14 Mar 2014
    KKH’s paediatric intensive care services expands with enhanced ability for hospital transfers

    KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital is expanding its paediatric intensive care unit services, by enhancing its ability to transfer young patients with critical heart and lung conditions during their stay in other hospitals to KKH for treatment. In the past, KKH used bulkier life-support machines for patient transfers from hospital to hospital. Now, with a donation of two new life-support machines known as the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) from the Nu Skin SEA Children’s Heart Fund, the KKH medical team can provide swifter and safer intervention for such patients. Since 2002, there has been 61 patients in KKH who have received intensive treatment using the ECMO, of whom 59 were children and babies.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 6

    12 Mar 2014
    SGH: First Southeast Asian hospital to treat prostate cancer using da Vinci Surgical System

    Singapore General Hospital is the first hospital in Southeast Asia to use the da Vinci Surgical System for the surgical treatment of prostate cancer. SGH surgeons have done about 2,000 robotics surgeries since its introduction in 2003. Prof London Lucien Ooi, Chairman, Division of Surgery, SGH, spoke about the training that surgeons go through before they start using the robotics system.  About 20 to 30 SGH surgeons are trained in this area. The system can also be used to perform minimally-invasive surgery for other cancer conditions, endometriosis and complex gynaecological reconstruction procedures. Patients who undergo robotics surgery experience less pain and require shorter hospital stays.

    Berita Harian - pg 9

    09 Mar 2014
    Singapore’s largest neuroscience research institute launched to advance care for disorders like stroke and dementia

    There will be 80,000 people in Singapore struggling with dementia by 2030, which is almost three times the current number. In one of Singapore’s most comprehensive dementia studies, a research team has begun comparing the mental faculties and brain images of people – in an effort to detect the disease early.  This team is part of the new National Neuroscience Research Institute Singapore (NNRIS), a joint venture by the National Neuroscience Institute and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. The new institute gathers more than 200 neurologists, neuroscientists and researchers who will work together to look at better ways to detect and combat brain and nervous system disorders.

    The Sunday Times - pg 45

    04 Mar 2014
    SERI researchers develop new antibiotic from a compound in mangosteens

    Local researchers have found the mangosteen fruit to be the basis of a new powerful antibiotic. While looking for new treatments for eye infections, a multidisciplinary team led by Singapore Eye Research Institute discovered a compound called alpha-mangostin from mangosteens, and modified its structure to create a molecule with powerful anti-microbial activity. This molecule was then modified into an antibiotic to combat methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a potentially lethal hospital-acquired bacterial infection with ever-growing antibiotic resistance. Prof Roger Beuerman, Senior Scientific Director, SERI and Professor, Duke-NUS shared that the molecule kills MRSA much faster than other antibiotics and is also easily absorbed in the body.

    Lianhe Wanbao - pg 12

    01 Mar 2014
    NNI scientist develops potential test with NUS team to gauge risk of Parkinson's

    Scientists in Singapore have come up with a potential method for gauging a person's risk of developing Parkinson's disease. The research team, which includes Assoc Prof Lim Kah Leong, Principal Research Scientist at National Neuroscience Institute, could lead to cheaper and non-invasive tests for the neuro-degenerative illness, as well as devices to monitor the disease in patients and the effectiveness of treatment. Previous studies have found that Parkinson's disease patients have higher levels of an enzyme called monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) in their bodies. With this study, the team has developed a new compound that tags MAO-B activity in fluorescent light, with the light intensifying when there is increased activity. The compound has been tested successfully on blood samples from six people – three patients and three control individuals – with the intention to utilise a grant from the National Medical Research Council for a larger study that will involve samples from at least 100 patients.

    The Straits Times - pg B16

    25 Feb 2014
    Cancer rates expected to rise

    A global report published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) revealed that cancer is the top cause of death in the world and the number of cases has increased worldwide. It reflected similar findings in Singapore. According to Prof Soo Khee Chee, Director, National Cancer Centre Singapore, one reason for the rising numbers is the growing elderly population in Singapore. He said that in developed countries like ours, people are living longer. Previously, people would die before they got cancer. He added that another contributing factor to the number is what is known as “lifestyle cancers” such as prostate, breast and colo-rectum cancers.

    Berita Harian - pg 8 

    24 Feb 2014
    SGH and KKH doctors on home births
    The number of home births in Singapore is increasing. While home births are still a minority, the trend seems to be catching on. There were 60-80 home births last year, the highest in a decade. Those who choose home births say it provides a more familiar environment for mothers. Assoc Prof Tan Hak Koon, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Singapore General Hospital, and President of the College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, said parents considering home births must also factor in the possibility of unexpected complications, even for mothers with no known risk factors. Dr Shephali Tagore, Head & Consultant, Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Peripartum Unit, KK Women's and Children's Hospital, said that safe delivery should not be taken for granted, and is best conducted in a hospital with access to emergency care should the need arise.

    The Straits Times - pg B1
    22 Feb 2014
    New physiotherapy service launched at SHP-Geylang

    SingHealth Polyclinics - Geylang has launched a new physiotherapy service, the second SingHealth polyclinic to do so. This service was first introduced in Tampines Polyclinic in November last year, and the polyclinic has seen more than 300 physiotherapy patients since then. Dr Gilbert Tan Choon Seng, Clinic Director, SHP-Geylang, noted that bringing specialised service like physiotherapy closer to the community would help patients get treatment earlier and reducing the need for referrals to hospitals.

    The New Paper - pg 6

    13 Feb 2014
    KKH study: Treat testes issue early to avoid fertility problems

    70 per cent of the 513 boys studied by KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital between 2007 and 2011 had undescended testis but had not undergone surgery before the age of one. This condition, which is usually detected with a physical examination, affects about one in 20 boys and should ideally be corrected before the boy is one year old. Studies have found that the potential to produce sperm drops after one year of age if the testis remains outside the scrotum. Boys with the condition are also eight times more likely to develop testicular cancer. Dr Shireen Nah, Staff Registrar, Department of Paediatric Surgery, KKH, principal investigator of the study, said that many boys here had the problem identified relatively late. To determine the reasons for the delay, KKH is conducting another study to assess the level of knowledge of undescended testis among medical professionals.

    The Straits Times (Mind Your Body) - pg 13

    13 Feb 2014
    SGH and KKH published cookbooks to promote healthy eating

    Three new cookbooks by KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Mt Elizabeth Novena were released in the last six months to promote healthy cooking, signalling a shift in emphasis from treating health problems to practising preventive medicine. Singapore General Hospital has published two cookbooks, Where is the Fat? and More than Mash in 2005 and 2011 respectively. Mdm Koay Saw Lan, Senior Manager of Food Services at SGH said that the latter was written to support caregivers who experienced difficulty feeding stroke survivors for fear of choking them. KKH’s Good Eats for Mums-To-Be, comes with nutritional advice and features 35 local dishes with a healthy twist to increase their nutritional value. 

    The Straits Times (Mind Your Body) - pg 10

    13 Feb 2014
    SingHealth organises closing ceremony for former School of Nursing, the birthplace of nursing education

    SingHealth, Singapore’s largest academic healthcare cluster, held a closing ceremony for the School of Nursing today. The building which will be demolished in July this year will make way for a new community hospital on the SGH Campus. Established in 1956, the School of Nursing played an instrumental role in the development and advancement of nursing education in Singapore. More than 600 nurses and their former tutors attended the closing ceremony organised by SingHealth, in which Health Minister was guest of honour.

    The Straits Times - pg B2
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 1 &13
    Shin Min Daily - pg 3
    Berita Harian - pg 2 (13 February 2014)
    Berita Harian - pg 12 (14 February 2014)

    09 Feb 2014
    Short volunteer stints have big impact

    Singapore International Foundation has sent more than 2,000 skilled volunteers to help in 17 developing countries to date and is seeing multiplier effects as these specialist teams share skills and expertise and help those they train become trainers themselves, resulting in a ‘cascading effect’.  Associate Professor Celia Tan, group director of Group Allied Health, SingHealth, for instance, has led physical rehabilitation training projects in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Her work led to a professional education framework for physiotherapists in Cambodia, and basic-level physiotherapy programmes in Laos. Ms Pang Nguk Lan, deputy director of patient safety at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, was a key member of a team which helped beef up the skills of doctors and nurses at the emergency department of Cambodia’s National Paediatric Hospital. Ms Pang shared her skills in paediatric emergency care and resuscitation there. The catalyst effect was that not only where locals trained, but they were also equipped to train others long after the volunteers had left.

    The Sunday Times - pg 36

    05 Feb 2014
    NDCS dental technician is an educator

    Ms Habsah Mohd Salleh, Senior Principal Dental Technician, National Dental Centre Singapore, who has more than 40 years of experience as a dental technician, shared her passion and role as an educator. Ms Habsah specialises in making dental prostheses such as dentures and appliances for temporomandibular disorders. On top of her daily work and supervising 30 staff, Ms Habsah is a mentor to new dental technicians and was also part of the committee to set up a Dental Technology programme for ITE.

    Berita Harian - pg 9

    04 Feb 2014
    Demand for home-care services on the rise

    More people are opting for home-care services and service providers are stepping up to meet the demand. Under such services, trained staff go to the patient’s home and provide non-medical services such as washing or housekeeping. Transitional services that help ease patients back into their home after discharge are also becoming more popular. Singapore General Hospital hopes to boost its capacity to serve 480 patients this year and 1,000 patients a year by 2016.

    The Straits Times - pg B2

    03 Feb 2014
    NCCS director on the rising number of cancer cases in Singapore

    Cancer is on the rise in Singapore, especially lifestyle cancers like prostate and breast tumours. According to the latest available figures from two years ago, 12,123 people were diagnosed with cancer, up from 10,576 in 2008. This marks an increase of nearly 15 per cent. One reason for these numbers is an ageing population, with other contributing factors such as smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise. Having fewer children and having them later also increase a woman’s chance of getting cancer. Cancer remains the No. 1 killer in Singapore, with 30 per cent of deaths in 2011 caused by the disease. The outlook is not all bleak, however. The chances of getting cancer can be lowered dramatically by modifying one’s lifestyle. Some of the most common cancers are also those which have the highest survival rates, such as breast cancer.

    The Straits Times - pg B4

    30 Jan 2014
    Patients treated to specially prepared Chinese New Year menu

    Restructured hospitals such as Singapore General Hospital, National University Hospital, Changi General Hospital and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital will be providing specially planned nutritious and tasty meals for patients, to usher in the Chinese New Year. Ms Koay Saw Lan, Senior Manager, SGH Food Services, shared that upon confirming the menu, the department will modify the ingredients to cater to patients with special dietary requirements. Adding to the festive cheer, patients will be treated with performances and presentation of mandarin oranges and festive gifts.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 13

    29 Jan 2014
    Singapore Health Quality Service Award winner goes the extra mile to facilitate last rites of deceased patients

    Ms Predah Anam Hashim, a senior nursing officer at Bright Vision Hospital who was nominated for the Singapore Health Quality Service Award 2014 Superstar category shared her interesting anecdotes of caring for her patients, including facilitating last rites for deceased patients with no relatives. The article noted that the Intermediate and Long Term Care sector such as BVH, Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital, Econ Medicare and Nursing Homes, and St Luke’s Hospital, registered a 57.5 per cent increase of winners for this year’s SHQSA compared to last year.

    Berita Harian - pg 10

    24 Jan 2014
    Researchers from KKH, SMART and NTU develop humanised mouse model for malaria research

    Researchers from KK Women's and Children's Hospital, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) have developed a new type of mouse which has both the human immune system and human red blood cells. This allows the mouse’s immune system to react to human malaria, which only infects human red blood cells. This breakthrough development is expected to accelerate the search for a new malaria treatment or even a vaccine. It is the first animal model with a human immune system which could be infected by human strains of malaria.

    TODAY Online

    23 Jan 2014
    NCCS study: Higher survival rate for lung cancer patients who were “never smokers”

    A study by National Cancer Centre Singapore found that three in 10 lung cancer patients in Singapore are never-smokers and the incidence is rising. More than half of the never-smokers seen at NCCS are usually diagnosed with advanced stage (stage 3 or 4) lung cancer. They however, have a higher survival rate than current and former smokers.

    Lianhe Wanbao - pg 8

    18 Jan 2014
    SGH volunteers and SingHealth Residents provide free health checks and spring clean homes of needy elderly

    More than 25 SingHealth Resident doctors provided basic health screening for 26 needy elderly residents staying in Henderson and Bukit Merah as part of Singapore General Hospital’s annual Project Groomover. This is the first time that the doctors joined 280 SGH volunteers comprising nurses, allied health professionals and administrative staff in spring cleaning the residents’ homes as they usher in the Lunar New Year.  The residents also received hampers and household items.

    The Straits Times Online

    17 Jan 2014
    NCCS, SGH and Clearbridge BioMedics open new research centre for cancer treatments

    The region’s first Circulating Tumour Cell Centre of Research Excellence (CTC CoRE) will look at harvesting “circulating tumour cells” – cancer cells that are detached from the main tumour and circulating in the bloodstream – from patients’ regular blood samples without the need for complicated procedures to get cells from tumours. The obtaining of cancer cells allows for better assessment of patients’ response to treatments and more targeted treatments.

    The Straits Times - pg B11
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 6

    15 Jan 2014
    2,727 from 17 institutions presented with Singapore Health Quality Service Award

    A record number of 2,727 healthcare professionals from 17 institutions were honoured for their outstanding contributions at the annual Singapore Health Quality Service Award held on 14 Jan 2014. Organised by SingHealth, Singapore’s largest academic healthcare cluster, the award is Singapore’s first dedicated platform to honour healthcare professionals who have delivered quality care and excellent service to patients.

    The Straits Times - pg B7
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 7

    13 Jan 2014
    KKH study: 70% of babies with undescended testes did not seek timely treatment

    A study at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) which reviewed 513 male babies with undescended testes (UDT) who underwent orchidopexy surgery at KKH between 2007 and 2011, found that 70 per cent did not seek timely treatment. Doctors advise that patients should have surgery as soon as possible or they could be at an increased risk of reduced fertility and testicular malignancy.

    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 5 (13 Jan 2014)

    07 Jan 2014
    KKH study finds 15 percent increase in toy-related injuries during first nine months of last year

    A study by KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) found that there was a 15 per cent rise in the number of cases seen at KKH from January to September last year, compared to the same period in 2012. The study involved surveying  93 sets of parents and other caregivers in KKH’s children’s emergency department from February to April 2012. KKH also released findings on a separate study on bicycle spoke injuries in children, which covered 242 children from January 2008 to December 2010. Most patients suffered bruises or superficial injuries but 37 per cent had more serious injuries such as fractures or dislocations. The study found that younger children were most at risk, with two-thirds of those sustaining injuries aged between two to six years of age.

    The Straits Times - pg B2
    Lianhe Zaobao - pg 6

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