A Health-Centric Wishlist for the Malaysian GE15

WORDS ANWAR ANIS

ANWAR ANIS
Executive Director
ALTY Orthopaedic Hospital
FORMATION OF A LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN PUBLIC & PRIVATE HEALTHCARE

Building upon the successful collaboration between public and private healthcare during the pandemic, a long-term policy on greater partnership will benefit both the government and the private sector, with all Malaysians being the key beneficiary.

There still are waiting lists for procedures in the public hospitals, and these can certainly be reduced if there is a structure long term arrangement for the private hospitals and centres to assist in reducing and maintaining a short wait time, especially for elective procedures which can greatly enhance an individual’s productivity, although it may not be life threatening.

GREATER FOCUS ON AN AGEING SOCIETY

These include the necessary social safety nets, proper care facilities and also post hospitalization care and support.

Here, the government should consider partnering the many physio and home care organisations to ensure patients have good compliance to post hospital care, including physio, wound care and others.

An aging population also typically means reduced mobility due to various issue—for example orthopaedic-related issues, where it can be address with proper intervention, and where needed surgery.

Government subsidy for implants, such as knee and hip implants can reduce the burden for the uninsured (which is a large majority of those who need such care) – and thus ensuring they have good mobility and thus independence even as they age.

INNOVATION IN HEALTHCARE WITH ROBOTICS, 3D PRINTING & OTHER NEW TECHNOLOGIES

The government should consider encouraging the adoption of such technologies especially in healthcare.

Grants or even personal subsidies to access such health technologies where appropriate can propel the adoption and perhaps even development of such tech.

For example, 3D printed casts or prosthesis will improve recovery and long-term quality of life. The regulatory framework also needs to support the faster adoption of such health technologies, to ensure Malaysia is able to maintain its advantage as a healthcare travel destination.

COMPETITIVE & FACILITATIVE IMMIGRATION POLICIES

Competitive and facilitative immigration policies, for healthcare travellers especially, will allow Malaysia to be serve a greater no of patients, which in turn lowers the cost of investment in health-related technologies and equipment, thus enabling more Malaysians to access it as well.

Some of our neighbouring countries continue to attract patients from a number of different countries, despite being less competitive overall than Malaysia, primarily due to the ease of arriving into the country.

Thus, they are able to invest in technology such as proton beam, as fee-paying foreign patients ensure there is a sufficient volume of patients for these advanced and latest modalities.

Here’s What You Should Know About Osteoporosis & Ageing

 

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR (C) DR G RUSLAN NAZARUDDIN SIMANJUNTAK
Consultant Orthopaedic,
Arthritis & Sports Surgeon
ALTY Orthopaedic Hospital

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens your bones, making them more prone to fractures.

Often, there are no symptoms. Many people only learn that they have osteoporosis after they experience a fracture and see a doctor.

Because fractures are potentially life-threatening when they occur to older persons, it is good to take steps to prevent this disease from quietly ‘sneaking up’ on you.

YOU CAN GET SCREENED TO FIND OUT HOW HEALTHY YOUR BONES ARE
If you are 65 or older, you should consult your doctor on getting screened for osteoporosis.

Tests such as bone mineral density (BMD) test will provide useful information about your bone health.

Blood profile tests help to detect presence of health conditions that can weaken the bones and increase your risk of osteoporosis.

WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A DOCTOR AFTER A FALL?
  • When you experience severe pain that don’t improve after taking over-the-counter painkillers
  • When you are unable to move after your fall

After you are admitted, you will be given an imaging test—typically X-ray and, if necessary, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—to determine the location and extent of the fracture.

HIP FRACTURES CAN BE COMMON AMONG OLDER PERSONS
Hip fractures usually occur on the long bone of the thigh, called the femur (see image).

A surgery, called hip replacement, helps to address this problem.

A total hip replacement replaces the socket (acetabulum, see image) and the head of the femur.

A partial hip replacement replaces only the femoral head (see image). This is usually an option for older persons with more limited mobility.

The surgery takes place within 2 hours, and you’ll stay in the hospital for around 3 more days. During this period, a physiotherapist will guide you on the exercises that you can do to restore the range of motion of as well as to strengthen your hip.

WORK WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE TEAM TO REMAIN INDEPENDENT & MOBILE
For example, you may use a walker or wheelchair to remain mobile, and you may need to master new techniques (such as for using the toilet, bathing, dressing, etc) that take into account your condition.

 

If you have problems traveling to see your physiotherapist, consult your healthcare team on the possibility of having the physiotherapist visit your home instead.


This article is brought to you by ALTY Orthopaedic Hospital.

 

4 Things Everyone Should Know About ACL Injuries

 

DATO’ DR BADRUL SHAH BADARUDDIN
Consultant Orthopaedic,
Arthritis & Sports Surgeon
ALTY Orthopaedic Hospital

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) helps hold the bones called femur and tibia together at the knee joint.

ACL INJURIES ARE ONE OF THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF KNEE INJURIES
They are common among people that perform activities involving regular heavy use of the knees, such as avid football, futsal, and badminton players.

When the ACL is said to be ‘injured’, what really happens is that there is a tear in the ACL. This tear cannot be repaired in the conventional sense—the doctor cannot ‘sew’ or ‘glue’ back the torn ACL.

Instead, a surgery called ACL reconstruction will be necessary.

SOME COMMON SIGNS THAT YOU MAY HAVE AN ACL INJURY
Your ACL may be torn when there is a ‘pop’ sound as your knee is injured. Pain and swelling will occur at the affected knee but may resolve within one or two weeks.

If your ACL is not functional due to a tear, you will feel an instability in your knee.

Be alert for this instability, which will be especially noticeable when pressure is exerted on the knee during activities such as moving and standing.

This instability may be present even when there is no pain, and it could be a sign of an ACL injury.

When this happens, see a doctor to have the knee examined.

ACL INJURIES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED BY AN ORTHOPAEDIC SPECIALIST
If left untreated, continuous use of a knee with a torn ACL may damage surrounding tissues such as the meniscus and cartilage.

This would not only make movement more difficult and even painful, but the treatments involved would be more complex and hence more expensive.

Furthermore, ACL injuries can lead to significant loss of cartilage tissue in the knee and increases the risk of osteoarthritis.

The current recommendation for people with ACL injuries, of any age, is to undergo ACL reconstruction as early as possible (provided they do not also have concurrent osteoarthritis of the knee), especially in active persons.

This is to restore their knee function and to avoid developing further complications in the future.

ACL RECONSTRUCTION INVOLVES THE CREATION OF A NEW ACL TO REPLACE THE TORN ONE
The new ACL can be made from tendons taken elsewhere from your own body or from another person, or from synthetic materials.

Latest advances allow the use of a thin, flexible tube with a camera at one end (called an arthroscope) to guide the surgeon in performing the reconstruction more efficiently.

For the next few months after the surgery, you will be working closely with a physiotherapist to regain full use of your knee.

How soon can you walk and exercise after an ACL reconstruction?

You may walk the next day after surgery (using with crutches), cycling within 6 weeks, and run on a treadmill within 3 months. Sports can resume after 6 months, but contact sports such as football is advisable only after 9 months or 1 year.


This article is brought to you by ALTY Orthopaedic Hospital.