Global Health Asia-Pacific Special Issue | Page 65
Dr Peter Chow
low mortality rate . Dr Chow acknowledged that the vaccine rollout was due to the Singaporean government ’ s proactive measures in securing vaccines early and modifying its public health directives in line with the latest scientific understanding of the virus . “ We were able to quickly deploy resources on public , private , and community levels to increase medical capacity in conjunction with the surge in healthcare needs ,” he said .
Looking to the future , Singapore is initiating longterm planning to ensure the healthcare system and the health travel sector are resilient enough to ride out another public health emergency . Dr Chow stressed the importance of assessing the actual situation and scientific evidence accordingly . “ For example , whilst healthcare providers benefitted from the SARS experience in managing personal protection equipment as well as triage and quarantine processes and systems , these also had to be quickly adapted and changed throughout COVID ,” he explained . Yong suggested that temporary structures previously set up to cater to the pandemic surge and hectic workflow conditions should be installed permanently in new healthcare facilities to differentiate between clean and dirty workflow . He also suggested that general workers be temporarily retrained to make up for shortages of healthcare workers .
Like many other nations , Singapore saw an increase in telemedicine use to monitor patients during the pandemic . Yong believes that the benefits of telemedicine include reduced costs , more straightforward deployment of resources , and digital convenience to patients who face difficulties coming to the hospital . Mount Elizabeth Hospitals are also transitioning to digitalising patient medical records to standardise data integrity and organise data systematically for health analytics and information filing purposes . “ Having digital patient records will improve patient care and doctoring experiences as information would flow faster right to your fingertips any time , and critical findings can be acted upon by doctors faster without waiting for the next duty shift ,” Yong explained . Currently , the hospital is in a hybrid mode for patient information and is looking forward