Time to reconsider new ways to deliver healthcare, says Brunei health minister

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Oct 18 (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): It is particularly important to consider new ways to deliver healthcare in the ‘new normal’, in the midst of a pandemic that has, over the last 21 months, altered the manner in which people live and work, Brunei Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Mohd Isham Jaafar said.

Many have been restricted to the confines of their homes, after the second Covid-19 wave struck the Sultanate.

“On an individual, community as well as global level, we have had to learn and adapt to the new medical condition and its management,” the minister said at the eighth Annual Scientific Meeting yesterday.

“We have to relearn new ways to continue our daily medical practice under these new conditions to ensure the ongoing care and safety of patients.

“It is important that we do not lose track or overlook details in patient care, especially in treating acute conditions. Even simple medical treatments can be affected by the virus and its effects,” he said.

These challenges have been met with numerous efforts and innovations, the most transformative of which is the ability to move personal and professional activities online, the minister said.

Everything, from primary school classes to advanced scientific meetings, is being conducted online with the help of mobile devices and computers. These online meetings help with the rapid dissemination of information and updates on disease status, treatment discoveries.

The decision-making processes can be initiated in a matter of minutes and conducted with great efficiency. Such information can be cascaded from organisations to individuals at home almost instantly, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said.

He added, “In the earlier days of the pandemic, the online interactions faced challenges. However, with a combination of institutional efforts and better public awareness, it has become less of a problem.

“COVID-19 has taught people about the need to work together for the common good, while the information exchange between institutions and nations has allowed for the harnessing of concerted effort in fighting the pandemic.

“This is particularly valuable in uncertain times such as this, where different countries go through the pandemic at different stages, in different versions. It is invaluable to learn from each other’s experience and move forward.”

For all these reasons, education must carry on, be it in conference halls or via computer screens. Online conferences have their advantages, he said.

“With travel taken out of the equation, collaboration with international speakers and participants from across the world can be carried out online. It is not uncommon to be a part of a conference in Singapore in the morning, Paris in the afternoon, and America in the evening, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said.

The meeting featured speakers from Singapore, Malaysia, the United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands, and the United States (US), which the minister said, “provides excellent learning opportunities for the audience in the country and the region”.

He added, “I hope that meetings such as these lay the foundation for future collaborations in the clinical medicine research. Having said that, the value of direct people interaction cannot be overstated.

“As we hope for a safe and assured return to pre-pandemic life, we look forward to meeting each other in person in meetings and conferences again, discuss medicine over a cup of coffee and continue our efforts to promote health and well-being.” - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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Brunei , Covid-19 , Health MInister


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