Exchange programmes broaden our perspectives. Healthcare professionals benefit from cross-training and an exchange of ideas with their counterparts abroad . In December 2021, SingHealth launched training programmes and inked partnerships with three hospitals and organisations  in Asia to exchange expertise for a win-win patient outcome.

Healthcare is a fast-evolving field. With a global ageing population, evolving disease trends and finite resources, collaborations in healthcare have become more crucial than ever.

“This extensive network of collaborations should be the case not just for global infection outbreaks and health emergencies, but for any other disease we treat, including acute and chronic illnesses,” said Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth. “This is especially critical in Asia, where we have so much in common in so many areas, such as types of disease prevalence and population genomics. Collaboration helps us leverage one another’s strengths and get ahead of the curve of healthcare challenges.”

Over the week of 6 December 2021, SingHealth was part of three training programmes and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signings with hospitals and organisations from Cambodia, China and India. These strategic global partnerships allow us to learn best practices and pursue research and scientific discussions to push the boundaries of medicine... All in the name of better clinical outcomes for our patients!

India: Improving Patient Care through Hospital Infrastructure Planning, Design and Flow – Towards Patient Experience (6 December)

100 healthcare professionals in Maharashtra, India will enhance their knowledge on hospital infrastructure planning and management in “Improving Patient Care through Hospital Infrastructure Planning, Design and Flow – Towards Patient Experience” programme. This is a partnership between the Ministry of Public Health & Family Welfare in Maharashtra, India, SingHealth and Temasek Foundation, Singapore.

The two-year training programme adopts a hybrid of online and on-site sessions, where SingHealth will train 90 specialists and 10 healthcare leaders in Maharashtra. Some of the key topics will delve into patient journey, patient safety, hospital infrastructure planning and quality improvement. Together with the healthcare leaders, the team will work towards  building their hospital management capabilities and empowering them to improve their healthcare systems or introduce processes for better patient care, safety and experience customised to the local needs.

Prof Ivy Ng, Group CEO of SingHealth, said, “We are delighted to launch this partnership with you so that we can share our experiences and our learning journey so far and learn from your learning journey, and together we can optimise the care that we give patients in both our countries, in spite of the challenges that we face now and that we could face in the future. I am confident that this programme will go a long way in strengthening the professional and personal ties between Singapore and India healthcare counterparts as we work together to continually improve patient care in our respective countries.”

China: Knowledge exchange in transplantation science with Renji Hospital (7 December)

In 2019, SingHealth had an academic exchange with Renji Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. The exchange was co-hosted by the Singapore General Hospital’s Liver Transplant Programme and KK Women and Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Surgery, and sparked a journey of sharing of best practices on transplant-related care. It was followed by a visit to Renji Hospital in Shanghai, where the SingHealth team learnt more about their paediatric liver transplant programme.

With networks of healthcare campuses to clinical specialties and emphasis on academia, Renji Hospital is similar to SingHealth. “We found a kindred spirit in Renji Hospital. The establishment of this formal partnership is a natural next step. This partnership will seek to be mutually beneficial in the fields of clinical care, research and education,” said Prof Ng at the signing of the MOU on 7 December 2021.

The three-year partnership will create opportunities of training, fellowship and research in various specialties, with the advancement of transplantation science being the first area of focus. “Renji Hospital also has an impressive 98% success rate in the highest number paediatric liver transplant surgeries performed in the world in the last seven years. This is an incredible achievement and we hope to learn from your success,” said Prof Ng.

With this partnership, SingHealth’s healthcare professionals can look forward to a robust exchange of best practices, cross-pollination of ideas and even co-development of solutions to improve care and benefit our patients.

Cambodia: Providing psycho-social support in the Enhanced Victim Assistance Programme (9 December)

Explosive remnants of war (ERW) such as mines and unexploded ordnances have been recognised since the 1990s as a public threat to health in several parts of the world. ERWs are risky and hazardous, can cause wide-reaching physical and mental consequences, and have cumulative effects on public health, mental health, livelihood and security. Victims of ERW require not only medical treatment and rehabilitation, but quality psychological support as well. Through a three-year partnership between ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) and SingHealth, the Enhanced Victim Assistance Programme in Cambodia aims to build and enhance capabilities in providing psycho-social support to ERW victims through the healthcare and community sectors.

“SingHealth is privileged to partner with ARMAC to be a part of this meaningful knowledge sharing programme, and play a part in ensuring the appropriate care and assistance – specifically in psychology support – for ERW victims in our region. This partnership is also significant as it is aligned to our countries’ shared goodwill as ASEAN member states, and augments the active collaboration between SingHealth and the Cambodian healthcare sector to build capabilities through professional exchange programmes,” said Assoc Prof Tan Hiang Khoon, Group Director, International Collaboration Office, SingHealth.

Under this programme, SingHealth will train 240 key healthcare personnel who play a critical role in making a difference to ERW victims. Doctors, nurses, medical students, allied health professionals and community volunteers will be equipped with knowledge and skills in strategic care areas such as trauma informed care approaches and interventions, self-care techniques for professional caregivers to address vicarious traumatisation and burnout, and the diagnosis and treatment of common psychological and psychiatric issues.

This will be done through professional skills transfer lectures and talks, train-the-trainer workshops, as well as community health workshops with caregivers, NGOs and community volunteers. Master Trainers will be also selected from the programme and invited to attend further lectures and workshops to serve as champions of change in their respective healthcare institutions. These Master Trainers will be assigned to conduct selected training sessions under guidance from SingHealth’s trainers. Moving ahead, this will help ensure that many more healthcare professionals and volunteers can stand to benefit, even after the programme has ended.

 

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