Monday, January 28, 2013

Managing sleep disorders

The Star

Naeem: We believe the centre will help relieve th e cost of healthcare in the economy.Naeem: We believe the centre will help relieve th e cost of healthcare in the economy.
PHILIPS Malaysia and University of Malaya Specialist Centre (UMSC) recently signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on setting up South-East Asia’s first centre for sleep disorders in Malaysia.
Housed in UMSC, the centre is scheduled to open its doors in July.
It will focus on driving awareness and early diagnosis of sleep disorders through clinical research, training, and a full spectrum of sleep medicine services.
With the aim of improving the state of health and well-being in the region, the Asean Sleep Research & Competence Centre (ASRCC) will constitute four sub-sections — Training Academy, Clinical Research Centre, Tele-medicine Centre, and Corporate Services Centre.
“We often forget to acknowledge the role of a good night’s sleep and its effects on our health.
“Research has shown that the quality and amount of sleep we have can affect our health, safety and productivity.
“The most common sleep disorder — obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) — is also closely linked to other diseases.
“For example, moderate-to-severe OSA patients have a three-fold increase in the risk of hypertension and a two-fold increase in the risk of heart failure.
“As such, sleep disorders are a clear concern across different fields of medicine. I believe the upcoming centre may help hospitals across the region to provide new levels of understanding in the diagnosis and management of sleep disorders,” said UMSC chief executive officer Prof Datuk Amin Jalaludin.
According to a recent Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research survey of 289 bus drivers, 44.3% were found to have sleep disorders.
Confiden t: Zainal foresees the centre will act as a catalyst to attract more like-minded centres.Confiden t: Zainal foresees the centre will act as a catalyst to attract more like-minded centres.
Road accidents are one of the significant impacts of OSA.
Other sleep disorders, such as insomnia, parasomnia, and narcolepsy, also interfere with normal physical, mental and emotional functioning, causing people to become less productive at work, irritable, depressed and sleepy behind the wheel.
TASRCC plans to open its doors for the screening and management of OSA, for public vehicle drivers and will work with the government to ensure such drivers undergo compulsory OSA screening.
“Philips is constantly seeking to find meaningful solutions and partnerships to improve health and well-being.
“The ASRCC is a great example of a partnership that will improve the lives of patients with sleep disorders.
“We believe this will also help relieve the cost of healthcare in the economy,” said Philips Malaysia managing director Naeem Shahab Khan.
“I am confident this centre will act as a catalyst to attract more like-minded centres and its contributions would be invaluable, offering Malaysians high value jobs and specialised training opportunities, in line with our Economic Transformation Prog–ramme,” said InvestKL chief execu­tive officer Zainal Amanshah.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    SOCSO provides free health screening

    Borneo Post

    SANDAKAN: The Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) is offering a free health screening programme (HSP) for all workers aged 40 and above to identify non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer starting this month.
    Eligible employees may undergo the health screening at SOCSO HSP panel clinics which have registered via SOCSO SeHAT portal.
    According to an officer with SOCSO HSP Unit, Rosly Bin Abdul Kadir, employees will be given HSP vouchers through their employers, which will be submitted to HSP Panel Clinics.
    The HSP will benefit around 1,972,690 employees aged 40 and above in the country, he added.
    He said the SOCSO HSP was aimed at promoting a healthy culture and awareness of the non-communicable diseases through early detection.
    “Besides that, the HSP will prevent disability and death as well as loss of income due to non-communicable diseases.
    “It also hopes to improve human capital resource and productivity through a vibrant business environment and to stimulate the nation’s economy,” he said during HSP briefing to around 29 panel clinics here at Sabah Hotel recently.
    The HSP will cover medical consultation as well as advice to workers to reduce the risk of diseases to enable them to remain productive and healthy.
    The screening includes physical examination, consultation, blood examination, interpretation of medical findings, and clinical advice while the health parameters covered in HSP are Full Blood Count, Fasting Glucose, Fasting Lipid Profile, Urine FEME/Microalbuminura, Pap Smear and Mammogram.
    The programme will be offered continuously to enable all future workers attaining 40 years old to benefit from it.
    So far 229,236 HSP vouchers were distributed and 976 clinics were registered for HSP all over Malaysia from January 1 – 17 this year.

    Monday, January 21, 2013

    Where is the promised Penampang hospital?

    Free Malaysia Today

    PENAMPANG: The healthcare sector in Sabah is in a mess, the State Reform Party (STAR) said today.
    Sabah STAR women’s wing chief, Melanie Annol, said besides the delayed twin-towers at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), the abysmal condition of healthcare in the state can be seen everywhere. Penampang, the satellite town of the state capital, is a living testimony.
    She said a long time ago, the Barisan Nasional leadership had promised to build a district hospital for Penampang, which has been without hospital since Merdeka in 1963.
    “But until now there is no sign of a hospital coming up.
    “What happened to the promise made by Bernard Dompok, the Penampang MP and Upko president? Has it been thrown into the dustbin of BN’s unfulfilled promises?” Annol asked in a statement here.
    A few days ago, Annol also brought up cases of insufficiencies in government hospitals that had caused tremendous stress to locals.
    “I understand a site for the proposed Penampang district hospital was identified, but after some time, the whole thing just fizzled out, leaving about 126,000 people in Penampang without a proper hospital,” she pointed out.
    She further said that it was a gross injustice to the people not only of Penampang but the whole Sabah, which was endowed with so much natural resources, but left begging for basic facilities.
    “We need a hospital now. The old polyclinic in Kasigui near here is the only “hospital” that serves the people. Fortunately we do have private clinics around town, but how many families can afford private clinics?” Annol asked.
    According to her, a hospital in Penampang would serve not only the people of Penampang itself but also nearby Putatan, Petagas, Lok Kawi and even the state capital.
    Penampang, a predominantly Christian Kadazandusun area, though considered still a small town, has virtually become a satellite town of Sabah capital Kota Kinabalu.

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    Malaysian health minister says Malaysians are fattest in Southeast Asia

    Bangkok Post

    Malaysia is the fattest country in Southeast Asia, according to its Health Minister.
    Liow Tiong Lai says that obesity is on the rise in Thailand’s southern neighbour, with 2.6 million Malaysian adults obese and 477,000 children considered overweight. 
    “This is not a glorious title. We are outweighing our Asean neighbours and number six in the whole of Asia – behind some Middle Eastern countries,” Mr Liow told The Star.
    Statistics from Malaysia’s National Health and Morbidity Survey show that 15.1% of Malaysians aged 18 and above were suffering from obesity as of 2011.
    “This is an increase from the 14% figure of the same demographic in 2006,” Mr Liow said.
    Mr Liow warned that modern technology could be contributing to a rise in non-communicable diseases among Malaysians, including diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular problems.
    “This exciting era of electronic gadgets and instantaneous communication is actually a double-edged sword,” he said.
    “We are increasingly becoming couch potatoes; we are not leading an active enough lifestyle to prevent ourselves from becoming obese, which is a precursor to many health problems.”

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    Sime Darby Healthcare consolidating its hospitals

    The Edge

    KUALA LUMPUR: SIME DARBY BHD subsidiary, Sime Darby Healthcare Sdn Bhd, has sold its day care facility in Petaling Jaya (Sime Darby Specialist Centre Megah) to BP Healthcare group about a month after opening its RM143 million Sime Darby Medical Centre ParkCity near Kepong in Kuala Lumpur.
    The sale price of Sime Darby Specialist Centre Megah was not disclosed, but it is believed to be negligible to the group’s overall revenue. Sime Darby Specialist Centre Megah, which will be renamed BP Specialist Centre Taman Megah, offers a variety of services and procedures, including gastroscopy, CT scan, mammogram, ENT (ear, nose and throat), family medicine, hearing and dental.
    An industry executive said the disposal of the “small” Sime Darby Specialist Centre Megah will enable Sime Darby Healthcare to concentrate on its three bigger hospitals — its flagship Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya, Sime Darby Medical Centre Ara Damansara and Sime Darby Medical Centre ParkCity. Sime Darby Healthcare also owns and operates a nursing college called Sime Darby Nursing and Health Sciences College.
    The 393-bed Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya has been the mainstay of Sime Darby Healthcare as the 220-bed Sime Darby Medical Centre Ara Damansara was only officially opened in March last year. It was bought for RM140 million in 2010.
    Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya contributed the bulk of Sime Darby Healthcare’s revenue in the last two financial years. For the financial year ended June 30, 2011 (FY11), total revenue was RM319 million and increased to RM348 million for FY12.
    The 300-bed Sime Darby Medical Centre ParkCity is leased from Perdana ParkCity group under a build and lease concept, with a 15-year leasehold agreement.
    Sime Darby Healthcare managing director Raja Azlan Shah Raja Azwa was quoted as saying that both Sime Darby Medical Centre Ara Damansara and Sime Darby Medical Centre ParkCity are expected to post profits within three to five years.
    Bernama reported that the purchase of Sime Darby Specialist Centre Megah marked the first ever acquisition by BP Healthcare since it started as a medical laboratory in Ipoh, Perak, 30 years ago, before growing into a leading integrated healthcare group.
    “This acquisition is a very significant move for the group in line with our vision of having a chain of BP hospitals eventually. It will be the latest expansion of our considerable healthcare facilities and drive towards our target of establishing 15 specialist centres over the next three years,” said BP Healthcare deputy chairman and group finance and investment director Chevy Beh.
    BP Specialist Centre Taman Megah will be the fifth specialist centre within the group and will remain a day care centre. BP Healthcare treats four million patients a year and the number is growing, Beh said.
    The group has four specialist centres with three in the Klang Valley — Glenmarie (Shah Alam), Cheras (Kuala Lumpur) and Bukit Tinggi (Klang). The fourth is in Ipoh, the headquarters of the group.
    BP Healthcare is also Southeast Asia’s largest medical diagnostic chain with over 100 outlets in Malaysia and a joint venture in Indonesia with the Ciputra Group.
    This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Jan 16, 2013.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

    Health Ministry Monitors Quality Of Water Distributed To Residents - Liow

    SJ Echo

    BANGI, Jan 14 (Bernama) - The Health Ministry is strictly monitoring the quality of water distributed to residents in areas facing water supply problem, especially in Selangor.

    Its minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, said measures should also be taken by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) to ensure that the water supply distributed to residents in the affected areas was clean and met the stipulated water quality.

    "An epidemic can happen if there is water pollution. Hence, it is important to ensure the quality of the water to prevent the spread of an epidemic, like typhoid fever," he added.

    He said a directive had also been issued to the state health director and the ministry's Disease Control Division to monitor the situation.

    Liow told this to reporters after launching the "First 1,000 Days of Life" campaign towards building a healthy generation at the Bandar Seri Putra Health Clinic here Monday.