Singapore is not spared from the threat of H1N1 Influenza A outbreak and the government has taken considerable steps against the spread of the virus.
The Ministry of Health has formed the National Scientific Committee to review and provde recommendations to refine strategies and measures to control the H1N1 situation in SIngapore. Moreover, stringent border controls are imposed with temperature screenings at air, land and sea checkpoints, but this is not required in work places. schools, buildings and events. The Home Quarantine Order (HQO) is also in place for those who have been in contact with an infected person.
The H1N1 virus can be spread through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes and speaks, and when a person touches his nose and mouth after touching a contaminated surface. Thus, the public is advised to remain vigilant and practice better personal hygiene. This could be done by washing hands with soap regularly, covering the mouth and nose when seneezing and coughing, avoiding crowded places and seeking prompt medical attention if unwell.
Visit the Ministry of Health's website for more updates and information on Influenza A (H1N1).
Singaporeans enjoy one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
Well-qualified medical personnel and state-of-the-art facilities are the mainstay of all public and private hospitals. Singapore has eight public hospitals and several specialist institutes, while community hospitals offer intermediate care; 18 polyclinics and some 2,000 private clinics for outpatient treatment can be found in most housing estates (Ministry of Health, 2011). In addition, the Jurong General Hospital is planned for 2015.
To help Singaporeans pay for their medical care, the government introduced various schemes - Medisave, Medishield and Medicare. These schemes allow Singaporeans to use part of their Central Provident Fund (CPF) to pay for their own hospitalisation expenses, as well as their dependants’. Relatively affordable fees and shorter waiting times add to the quality of care available and the population’s overall good health. Singaporeans have an average life expectancy of 82 years (The Yearbook of Statistics, 2011).
Singapore’s status as an advanced healthcare hub, as well as its excellent reputation in a wide range of specialities – including those related to orthopaedics, ophthalmology, oncology, cardiology and neurology – frequently attract international patients who seek cutting-edge surgery and treatment.
In 2007 Singapore was voted the "Best Medical/Wellness Tourism Destination" by TravelWeekly (Asia) Industry Awards. Also, Singapore’s Centre for Transfusion Medicine in Singapore is recognised as a WHO Collaborating Centre and is internationally reputed for its high standards in the management of blood transfusion services and blood safety practices.
On track to medical hub status
Singapore is also home to many centres of medical excellence, including the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre (the only fully branded Johns Hopkins facility outside of the United States), and Singapore’s biomedical research hub, The Biopolis.
It is also a popular host to international medical conferences and meetings, including the 14th Asian Pacific Congress of Cardiology 2004, the 13th International Conference on Biomedical Engineering 2008, and the 2009 International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Technology.
Singapore’s high levels of medical expertise and patient care have made it a medical hub for Asians and increasingly, the Western world, where healthcare costs are comparatively higher. In 2003, Singapore’s Ministry of Health led the launch of Singapore Medicine, a multi-agency government-industry partnership committed to strengthening Singapore's position as Asia's leading medical hub, and promoting Singapore as a world-class destination for advanced patient care.
More than 400,000 international patients come to Singapore for medical treatment every year. Singapore Medicine is targeting one million foreign patients by 2012.
Images courtesy of Yoursingapore