Channel NewsAsia

Better communication needed to guard against new health threats: Gan

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said while much progress has been made in Singapore's healthcare over the last five decades, communication must be improved to guard against new threats like SARS, MERS-CoV and more recently, Ebola.

SINGAPORE: While much progress has been made in Singapore's healthcare over the last five decades, communication must be improved to guard against new threats like SARS, MERS-CoV and more recently, Ebola, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.

Speaking on Saturday (Aug 23) at an event which paid tribute to Singapore's pioneer healthcare professionals, Mr Gan encouraged the healthcare fraternity to meet future challenges by building on the strong foundations set by the pioneers.

More than 400 pioneers and seniors were honoured for their contributions to Singapore's healthcare at the lunch event. They were brought down memory lane by a video of the Republic's healthcare journey from the 1960s to the present day. Mr Gan noted how Singapore's healthcare priorities changed through different periods and the role pioneers played in shaping and improving the healthcare system.

Mr Gan said: "As healthcare professionals of all disciplines, you have helped the sick get well and the healthy stay well. You have welcomed newborns and comforted the departed. As planners, administrators and support staff, you have developed policies, organised programmes and run our facilities.

"Each one of you has contributed to Singapore and our healthcare system in your own way, regardless of the number of acronyms in front of your name or behind your name."

Dr Uma Rajan, former director of the Ministry of Health's School Health Service, said: "Preventive and health promotion took a tougher time to inform people, and to change their attitudes (towards) the importance of preventive and health promotion. How do we tell them that that is more important? It took a lot of time, a lot of patience, a lot of thought and a lot of communication skills." 

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia