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15
Apr
2024

Autism • Local research data on prevalence in Singapore available but more studies needed

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​In response to a letter advocating the need for an accurate estimate of autism figures in Singapore, Dr Aishworiya Ramkumar, Consultant at Khoo Teck Puat-National University Children's Medical Institute (KTP-NUCMI), National University Hospital (NUH), shared that a recent NUH-National University Polyclinics (NUH-NUP) study on the effectiveness of an autism screening tool had found that the prevalence of autism was 1.1 per cent or roughly just over one in 100 children. She agreed with the letter writer’s call for more studies to better understand autism prevalence and trends as Singapore continues to cultivate a more inclusive environment for the autism community here. 

Media ArticlesNUH in the NewsNUHS in the NewsNUP in the News
20
Mar
2024

尽早介入治疗!18个月大不会喊爸爸妈妈 五岁儿现已 “拜托” 自闭症 (With early therapy, 5-year-old child no longer shows signs of autism)

联合早报 © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Mdm Suhaila, mother of a child who was previously diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, shared her son’s journey through diagnosis and therapy, and attributed his vast improvement to the early intervention approach advised by the doctors at Bukit Batok Polyclinic and National University Hospital.

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15
Mar
2024

Screening tool effective at early detection of autism: Study

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​A pilot study led by Khoo Teck Puat-National University Children's Medical Institute at National University Hospital and National University Polyclinics on an autism screening tool has demonstrated effectiveness in early autism detection in the primary care setting. The tool, the "Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-Up (M-CHAT-R/F)", is currently offered as part of the routine 18-month children developmental screening across all seven NUP polyclinics.

Dr Aishworiya Ramkumar, Consultant at National University Hospital explained that early treatment and intervention can make a big difference to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as it can lead to better improvements in their skills and development, leading to better quality of life, and independent-living skills in future. Mdm Suhaila, mother of a child who was previously diagnosed with ASD, shared on her son's journey through the therapy programmes at National University Hospital and how his development had greatly improved through early intervention.

Dr Ruth Zheng, Senior Consultant and Family Physician at National University Polyclinics added that a positive result from the questionnaire is not equivalent to an autism diagnosis and is more of a tool to guide the medical team in more in-depth assessment of the child. Ms Ong Li Ping, Nurse Manager at Pioneer Polyclinic highlighted that nurses would explain the scoring system and questions to parents, when administering the questionnaire.

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14
Mar
2024

Large-scale study shows promise in early autism detection among young children in Singapore

National University Health System

NUH Media ReleaseNUHS Media ReleaseNUP Media Release
23
Feb
2024

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

Channel NewsAsia

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

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

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

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21
Feb
2024

Are long-term payouts the best way to retain nurses?

Channel NewsAsia

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

In a 'live' interview with Channel NewsAsia 938 radio, Dr Karen Koh, Chief Nurse, National University Hospital and Mr Muhammad Hafashah Mohd Aslam, Nurse Clinician at National University Hospital's General Intensive Care Unit shared about the rewards and challenges of the nursing profession and how National University Hospital had been leveraging technology to alleviate the workload of nurses.

Shin Min Daily News also featured Ms Teo Lay Sze, Assistant Director of Nursing at National University Polyclinics, who shared how the retention scheme will encourage nurses to continue in service and help with the overall nursing workload.

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9
Jan
2024

Man impersonated brother and acquaintance to get medical treatment, jailed

Others

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

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8
Jan
2024

New app helps parents better cope with the stress that comes with welcoming a new baby

Others

Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies (NUS Nursing) at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine launched a new app designed to provide new parents with parenting information. Professionals including obstetricians, gynaecologists, psychiatrists, nurses, and others from institutions such as Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies (NUS Nursing) at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University Hospital, National University Polyclinics, KK Women's and Children's Hospital and Singapore General Hospital, have contributed to the content of the “Supporting Parenting App”. A/Prof Shefaly Shorey and her team from Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies (NUS Nursing) at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine conducted a study on the effectiveness of the app and found that parents who used it showed better parental outcomes and their infants fared better in most developmental outcome measures.

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8
Jan
2024

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

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

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

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5
Jan
2024

国大护理学中心开发应用 帮新手父母应对育儿挑战 (Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies develops app to help new parents cope with parenting challenges)

联合早报 © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies (NUS Nursing) at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS Medicine) launched a new app designed to provide new parents with parenting information. Professionals including obstetricians, gynaecologists, psychiatrists, nurses, and others from institutions such as NUS Nursing, NUS Medicine, National University Hospital, National University Polyclinics, KK Women's and Children's Hospital and Singapore General Hospital, have contributed to the content of the “Supporting Parenting App”. A/Prof Shefaly Shorey and her team from NUS Nursing conducted a study on the effectiveness of the app and found that parents who used it showed better parental outcomes and their infants fared better in most developmental outcome measures.

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13
Nov
2023

晨光聚焦:什么是抗微生物药物耐药性?(Morning Spotlight: What is antimicrobial resistance?)

Mediacorp News

​18 to 24 November 2023 is World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is on the rise – in 2019, an estimated 1.3 million people worldwide died due to AMR, and this number is expected to increase to 10 million by 2050. Dr Sky Koh, Family Physician and Associate Consultant at National University Polyclinics, discussed some of the factors that contribute to AMR, including overuse of antibiotics; slow development of new medicines; and poor hygiene habits. Dr Koh said that AMR will result in prolonged and more severe bacterial infections that increases the risk of complications.

To combat AMR, hospitals have launched antimicrobial stewardship programmes to better guide doctors and pharmacists in prescribing antibiotics to patients. Ms Chin Min Hui, Alexandra Hospital Pharmacist, said that broad-spectrum antibiotics are typically given the option to be switched to narrow-spectrum antibiotics, when tests are completed to identify more effective antibiotics for the patient. Ms Doris Hung, Nurse Clinician at National University Polyclinics, shared a patient's journey to overcome AMR.

  • Channel 8, 13 November 2023, Morning Express, 什么是抗微生物药物耐药性?(What is antimicrobial resistance?)

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10
Nov
2023

Screening for nose cancer extended to 3 more polyclinics

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

National University Health System (NUHS) is expanding a five-year study to more polyclinics under National University Polyclinics (NUP) to evaluate tools for the early diagnosis of nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). Launched in November 2022 and initially conducted at Jurong and Pioneer Polyclinics, this study has been extended to Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, and Clementi Polyclinics. The study is part of an integrated research programme involving National University Cancer Institute, Singapore, and other institutions to enhance early detection of NPC and improve patient survival rates. The objective is to recruit 20,000 participants aged 35 to 60. The screening is provided free of charge and includes a serology test, saliva self-collection, and a questionnaire.

Dr Joshua Tay, Consultant, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, National University Hospital (NUH), shared that the study will use an early antigen serology marker to pick up the presence of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in the nose, as EBV has been found in nearly all nose cancer cells. Those identified to be high risk will be referred to specialists at NUH for further evaluation.

A/Prof Thomas Loh, Group Chairman of NUHS Medical Board and Senior Consultant at NUH’s Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, shared that the study will allow the team to reach out to the at-risk population in the community, to identify and effectively treat early-stage disease. It is also hoped that the study can help to develop a cost-effective and practical screening model to dramatically increase the early diagnosis of NPC. 

Media ArticlesNUH in the NewsNCIS in the NewsNUHS in the NewsNUP in the News
8
Nov
2023

NUHS launches Singapore's large-scale nose cancer screening research study in the community

National University Health System

NCIS Media ReleaseNUHS Media ReleaseNUP Media Release
25
Oct
2023

958新闻聊开来: 乳癌意识月:乳癌预防与筛查知多少?(Capital 958 News: Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How much do you know about breast cancer prevention and screening?)

Others

Assist Prof Samuel Ow, Chairman, Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) 2023 Organising Committee, and Senior Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore, explained why family physicians are roped in for this year’s campaign. Dr Zhou Qian, Resident Physician, Queenstown Polyclinic, explained when she would broach the topic of breast cancer screening to her patients and how she addresses misconceptions about mammograms.

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16
Oct
2023

亚历山大医院外展计划;药剂师做家访支援 两年339病患受惠 (Alexandra Hospital’s pharmacist outreach programme benefitted 339 patients in over two years)

联合早报 © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Alexandra Hospital, a hospital within the National University Health System, has put in place a Pharmacy Outreach Programme since 2018 with the primary objective of providing ongoing support to discharged patients. This support is extended through means such as home visits and virtual consultations, with the aim of assisting patients who may face challenges adhering to their medication regimen. From 2021 to date, this programme has positively impacted 339 patients. Joyce Ho, a senior pharmacist at Alexandra Hospital, has been actively involved in this initiative for two years and emphasised the vital role that pharmacists play in aiding patients with intricate medication instructions, especially in cases where familial support is lacking.

In addition, National University Polyclinics, also part of the National University Health System, introduced a pharmacist-led assessment service in all its polyclinics since June this year. This service allows eligible patients with minor ailments, following a preliminary screening, to directly consult with a pharmacist at the counter for the purchase of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, bypassing the need to see a doctor. Since its introduction in June, there has been a 16% increase in the number of patients opting for this service across all Nationaly University Polyclinics polyclinics. 

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