Global Health Asia-Pacific Special Issue | Page 66

Dr Timothy Low
“ I would say that the prospects are bright in the medium and long term . Singapore ’ s high connectivity itself is a boon , and the pandemic has taught us not to take open borders for granted .”
to a centralised electronic medical record ( eMR ) system soon as part of IHH ’ s IT strategy . Dr Chow stated that Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital would also be revamping its eMR system and expanding its digitalisation to include patient registration and admission processes .
Singapore also continues to invest in innovations such as AI , predictive modelling , and novel clinical technologies to strengthen the healthcare system . Yong believes that procuring the latest clinical equipment can improve the quality of medical intervention , such as precision surgery , which can translate to improved patient outcomes .
Recently , the Singapore Health Minister announced the Healthier SG strategy that involves linking each Singaporean to a single family physician to develop personalised health plans and improve preventive care . Dr Chow praised the framework by pointing out that personal family physicians could help the population navigate healthcare needs and ensure cost-effective healthcare decisions . “ The challenge will be how to pivot our healthcare and financing system that is currently organised around episodic care to provide longitudinal care ,” he said . Yong agrees , adding that a massive transitional policy shift in which both healthcare providers and citizens participate is required but will likely take a few years for the mindset change . This further involves restructuring existing healthcare facilities to include wellness and preventive care services .
Farrer Park : Driving innovation and cross industry synergy in medical tourism With Singapore reopening its borders , Farrer Park Hospital saw a rebound in healthcare travellers seeking consultations and treatment at the hospital .
According to hospital CEO , Dr Timothy Low , the increase is largely due to the lifting of travel restrictions that has enabled medical tourists to consult specialists , undertake treatment , and travel around in an environment that balances appropriate response to COVID outbreaks with preserving the livelihood of the local populace . “ This balance has been key for the hospital ’ s approach to helping potential patients arrange for a seamless experience with the knowledge that we will be responsive to how COVID-19 evolves ,” he explained . Dr Low further reiterated that having attentive and professional hospital staff who were mindful of the latest standard operating procedures related to COVID response would assure patients that they could plan for timely consultations with peace of mind .
The general view among industry players regarding the long-term prospects for the healthcare sector is largely positive . Dr Low remarked that proper control and testing procedures in international travel monitoring , a high immunisation rate among the population , and social responsibility in observing physical distance and wearing masks boded well for the medical industry ’ s outlook . “ I would say that the prospects are bright in the medium and long term . Singapore ’ s high connectivity itself is a boon , and the pandemic has taught us not to take open borders for granted ,” he added . Dr Low also pointed out how the government ’ s response to the recent COVID wave caused by the XBB variant included timely reporting of local infections , assessment of the impact of the variant based on existing scientific findings , and the rolling out of vaccination activities at a rapid pace .
Another reason for optimism is that Singapore ’ s health tourism industry has several advantages over regional competitors such as Thailand and Malaysia . Dr Low emphasised Singapore ’ s world-class infrastructure that allowed seamless consultation , care , and recovery and synergistic collaboration
64 ISSUE 6 | 2022 GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com