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Minister says quality of life is top priority

Rokiah Mahmud

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has implemented initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life of Brunei residents in an effort to realise Brunei Vision 2035.

Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar, in his deliberation of budget, said the projects for financial years of 2021 to 2023 include supporting the development of Industrial Revolution 4.0 to provide a better quality of life through digital transformation in healthcare services.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham added that the rapid development of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic had helped medical experts carry out clinical treatments more effectively.

ACHIEVEMENTS

The use of BruHealth application has now been expanded to having features such as enabling patients access to their medical records including lab test and X-ray results, appointments and tele-consultation.

The features also strengthen the data generation system to help the ministry to plan relevant health programmes.

The application also raises the digital usage in the Sultanate, gaining international recognition and receiving Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA) in Islamabad, Pakistan last December.

The minister expressed hopes that the success will inspire the country to move forward in accordance with modernisation trends.

Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

PROMOTING HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

The MoH is actively implementing several programmes, such as BN on the Move campaign, to encourage healthy lifestyle through increased physical activity.

The campaign, together with the One Billion Steps Together, was launched on August 14 last year and received overwhelming response.

The campaign reached its goal in just eight days, three hours and 41 minutes by 43,000 participants.

Following the success, the ministry has launched 20 Billion Steps Together challenge drawing the participation of over 74,000 public members.

PATIENT’S SAFETY

To further improve patient’s safety, MoH has launched the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) on October 3, 2022.

This system allows patients’ medical records, X-ray images, and ECG’s to be accessed at all government healthcare facilities nationwide and will be extended to private healthcare facilities.

This will speed up clinical work process to provide appropriate treatment, said the minister.

Several other services have also been initiated, such as the use of Computer-aided design (CAD) machines in dental services, the Therapy Data Management System (TDMS) in dialysis services, and the addition of CT Scan to radiology services, especially to cater to the needs outside of the Brunei-Muara District.

The MoH is currently conducting research on the use of advanced technology in detecting and providing early treatment for problems related to diabetes, particularly diabetic retinopathy’s effects on vision.

The minister said, “If successfully implemented, this artificial intelligence retinopathy screening system will place the country as among the earliest adapting to the technology.

“Patient’s function and productivity can be maintained, leading to prolonged quality of life.”

The establishment of the Intelligence Hub on November 1, 2022 includes the Epidemic Intelligence and Response Unit, the Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Unit, and the Digital Health Unit.

These are among the MoH’s efforts to strengthen the healthcare system’s and the data generated will help to develop strategies and prepare critical resources to ensure health safety.

The effort,the minister said, is in line with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s call to explore big data, cloud computing, green energy, and environmentally friendly technology.

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