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March 2018

Faster, affordable care at clinic for chronic conditions

A clinic offering affordable and faster care has been a boon for Choa Chu Kang residents with chronic conditions since it opened in April last year. Keat Hong Family Medicine Clinic, officially opened on 15 March 2018, helps patients manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and also provides physiotherapy, ultrasound scans and health screenings. The clinic sees nearly 1,500 patients every month, 60 per cent of whom have chronic conditions. Besides walk-in patients, it also gets patients who are referred by a hospital or polyclinic. Close to 2,500 patients have chosen to have their cases transferred there from the nearby Choa Chu Kang polyclinic. The clinic is funded by MOH and in care partnership with the National University Health System.


The Straits Times, 15 March 2018, Home News Page B3


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New drug a boost for blood cancer patients

Professor Chng Wee Joo, Director of NCIS shared that a new drug for multiple myeloma will be cheaper and increased survival rates for myeloma patients. He explained that the new drug is currently only approved for relapse treatment, its side effects are relatively small, to a certain extent, to maintain the quality of life, the price is also cheaper and increased survival rates for patients. The NCIS is currently conducting a new clinical trial to add another cheaper drug to the carfilzomib-containing drug combination, hoping to further lower prices and help patients cope with high medical costs in the future.

February 2018

Unlocking Secrets To Longevity

According to the Department of Statistics (DOS), there were 1,200 Singaporeans aged 100 and above as of last June. The proportion of centenarians among Singaporeans has surged by 18 times from 1990. 


What accounts for Singaporeans’ longevity? Research is ongoing in what else plays a role, besides factors such as medical advances in disease treatment, and accessibility to good medical care.


The SG90 Longevity Study, a 10-year study by A*Star and the National University Health System (NUHS) involving about 1,500 Singaporeans aged 90 and above, has found though women tend on the whole to live longer than men, Singaporean men appear to be healthier in old age than Singaporean women. Preliminary results of the study found Singaporean men were less likely to have impaired cognition (30 per cent, compared with 39 per cent in women) and more likely to be independent in their daily activities (47 per cent compared with 34 per cent in women). More men had a positive outlook on their health, and were less depressed than women.


Getting red in the face may be a red flag

Asian flush condition, the genetic predisposition to turning red in the face after alcohol is consumed, affects one in three Singaporeans, and is associated with an increased risk in cancer. 

Dr Kim Guo Wei, associate consultant at NCIS’ Division of Surgical Oncology (Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery), says affected people lack an enzyme to metabolise alcohol completely, leading carcinogenic compounds to remain in the body. Dr Ong Lizhen, consultant in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at NUH says such patients are subject to a higher risk of gastrointestinal cancers should they continue to consume alcohol.



January 2018

New polyclinic serves more Jurong residents

Pioneer Polyclinic was officially opened by Minister Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health on Saturday, 27 January 2018. With this new polyclinic, residents of Jurong West now have more convenient access to quality care closer to their homes. An art mural, a collaboration between NUP and its community partners, was unveiled, and a Kids’ Work Experience programme was conducted to expose young children to the various jobs and roles in healthcare. Mr Cedric Foo, Adviser, Pioneer GROs and Mr Patrick Tay, Adviser, Boon Lay GROs also attended the Official Opening.


  • The Straits Times, 28 January 2018, pA15
  • The Straits Times, 27 January 2018, pA2
  • Lianhe Zaobao, 28, January 2018, p4
  • Shin Min Daily, 28 January 2018, p4
  • Tamil Murasu, 28 January 2018, p2
  • CNA Singapore Tonight, 27 January 2018
  • Channel 5 TV News, 27 January 2018
  • Channel  8 News Tonight, 27 January 2018
  • Suria TV News, 27 January 2018
  • Vasantham TV News, 27 January 2018
  • 938Now, 27 January 2018
  • Capital958, 27 January 2018
  • WarnaFM, 28 January 2018

远程医疗 现状与未来发展

This is the second part of the article written by Professor Tan Huay Cheem, Director, NUHCS, on the growth of telemedicine. Through remote monitoring, patients with atrial fibrillation can do a blood test on their own and transmit the results by mobile phone to the hospital. The trained nurses will guide them in terms of adjusting the medication dosage. This helps to reduce the need for the patients to make the trip to the hospital and enhances patients’ satisfaction.  Tele monitoring also helps patients to control hypertension, and reduces re-admission rate. Patients with implanted pacemakers can also do follow-up through a special remote monitor, transmit data to the hospital’s monitoring centre for their cardiologists to monitor. 


Watching children grow up with GUSTO

Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes, or GUSTO, was launched in 2009, with the help of 1,247 babies and mothers. Led by researchers in the National University Health System, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences, GUSTO is one of the most detailed birth cohort studies in the world. The study has since yielded 169 papers published in scientific journals, and its findings have changed national health policy. Associate Professor Chong Yap Seng, who leads the study, shared insights on the establishment of the study, its challenges and future plans for the study.



The article is written by Professor Tan Huay Cheem, Director, NUHCS, on how technology has allowed for the growth of telemedicine, where health practitioners can treat patients through the Internet and remote monitoring. In the management of heart disease, patients could use mobile apps to determine medical conditions and take necessary action, such as calling for an ambulance. The phone’s global positioning system, or GPS, could allow the ambulance to easily locate the patient as well. This will aid in the treatment of emergency heart disease cases.



The article is written by Dr Michelle Poon, Senior Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, NCIS, and she shares about blood cancer and how stem cell transplant may be a treatment option for patients with blood cancer.


New way to better predict stomach cancer

A research team led by National University Health System (NUHS) and Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore has used genomic technologies to better understand intestinal metaplasia (IM), a known risk factor for gastric (stomach) cancer. Patients with IM are six times more likely to develop stomach cancer than those without. The research, published in one of the top cancer research journals, Cancer Cell, could also help detect patients who are infected with the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which is also linked to the disease.


Non-toxic spring cleaning

Associate Professor Lee Soo Chin, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS), contributed an article on cancer screening and discussed the reliability of using cancer markers to diagnose cancer.


Cancer treatment in the comfort of home

Profile of an NCIS’ patient, Mr Wong Yek Wan receiving cancer treatment in the comfort of his home. He is one of about 50 patients getting home cancer treatment under the NCIS community and home care programme. NCIS nurses make more 1,000 trips a year to treat cancer patients outside of the hospital. The majority are home visits, with the rest done in the community, such as at polyclinics. 


Cheaper option for bone marrow transplants?

Blood cancer patients may be able to select a cheaper option for bone marrow transplants as the MediShield Life Review Committee will review whether the cover should be extended to outpatient treatment. Prof Chng Wee Joo, Director, NCIS, shared NCIS’ innovative model of care of moving care from inpatient to outpatient and to home/community care with the Straits Times, and added that there would be plans to expand outpatient stem cell treatment to lymphoma patients this year. This move would reduce the need for expensive hospital facilities and benefit patients. The hospital frees up bed and clinic space so more patients can be treated. Patients are saved the trip to the hospital and exposure to infections.