Ministry of Health's Plans for Technology-Equipped Integrated Healthcare Campus

On 18 April 2017, Minister for Health, Mr. Gan Kim Yong announced the Ministry's plans to build an integrated healthcare campus in Woodlands. These plans would form part of Singapore's Healthcare 2020 masterplan to fulfill the healthcare needs of Singaporeans. Also, they would be especially crucial in addressing population ageing, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and the shortages of manpower in the healthcare services industry in recent years.

Scheduled to commence its operations in phases from 2022 onwards, the campus will not only provide 2,400 hospital beds in total, but also fully integrate long term care facilities, a community hospital, and an acute hospital in one location. This would facilitate better integration of care and allow patients to transit without hassle between facilities based on their healthcare needs.

Additionally, the campus will be equipped with IT innovations, automation, and smart technology which may include the use of artificial intelligence and data analytics. These developments would help to extend the outreach of healthcare professionals in the community.

More details can be found in the Minister's speech here.

Prohibition of Sale and Supply of Traditional Herbal Remedy

On 4 April 2017, the Health Sciences Authority (the HSA) released an alert to the public that the sale and supply of PHQ1001 Khasiat Penawar Herba Qaseh Serata Herb is prohibited. The herb was initially marketed as a traditional herbal remedy targeted at addressing medical conditions, e.g. kidney diseases, impotence, pain and stroke.

However, a consumer recently developed diabetes and severe steroid-induced side effects after ingesting the herb. Upon testing the herb, the HSA discovered that the herb contained numerous undeclared potent western medicines, including paracetemol, piroxicam, griseofulvin, dexamathsaone and piroxicam.

Members of the public have been advised not to buy or consume the herb. Meanwhile, anyone who supplies complementary health products containing undeclared potent western medicines, such as PHQ1001 Khasiat Penawar Herba Qaseh Serata Herb, is liable to prosecution, and if convicted, may face imprisonment of 3 years and / or be fined up to SGD 100,000.

More details can be found in the HSA's press release here.