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MALACCA, June 26: The Malacca Health Department has advised the public not to buy or use 129 health and beauty products found to contain prohibited ingredients, including scheduled poisons. The products include 357 Nasal Spray, Acai Berry ABC, Atika Beauty Renewal Cream, Bio Dream Gold, Lami, Kopi Pahlawan, Maajun Tenaga Herba-Ubi Jaga, Natasya Krim Herba, …
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SINGAPORE — In a healthcare system that is geared more towards tests and treatment, a doctor said medical professionals feel uncomfortable talking about death. Another said doctors avoid the subject of palliative care, as patients and their families would think they are giving up on treatment. These were some of the findings of a survey released by the Lien Foundation yesterday, in which doctors and nurses acknowledged that, while hospice palliative care is important for those with life-threatening illnesses, they felt their training in hospice palliative care had been insufficient. Conducted between February and April, the survey interviewed more than 200 doctors and 400 nurses here. It is the second part of an earlier survey on death attitudes, which revealed that Singaporeans found hospice palliative care to be expensive — a finding healthcare experts said could deter people from seeking such care. Almost all the doctors and nurses surveyed — 95 per cent and 94 per cent, respectively — considered hospice palliative care important for those with life-threatening illness. However, fewer than half — 38 per cent of doctors and 45 per cent of nurses —reported being familiar with such care, which involves caring for terminally ill patients and helping them live comfortably during the last stages of their lives. Likewise, only 17 per cent of doctors and 26 per cent of nurses agreed they had sufficient training in hospice palliative care. When asked whether the basic medical or nursing education prepared them to support patients with life-threatening illnesses, 62 per cent of doctors and 38 per cent of nurses said it had been insufficient. Mr Lee Poh Wah, chief executive officer of Lien Foundation, said he found the statistics “really damning”, though he acknowledged palliative care is a tough and young discipline. Communication with patients on death and dying also needs to be improved, the foundation said, as only half of the doctors and a third of the nurses surveyed felt comfortable discussing such issues with their patients. This can affect the timeliness of referrals to hospices. Statistics from Dover Park Hospice’s annual report showed 21 per cent of patients who had been referred to the hospice died before being admitted. While more can be done in the area of palliative care training, associate professor Pang Weng Sun, vice-dean of clinical affairs at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Nanyang Technological University, said it must be done in graduated steps, especially among young medical students who have ideals about relieving suffering and curing patients. Teaching them how to deal with dying patients in the earlier years of their medical education would be a “complete contrast” to their ideals, he added. Dean of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in the National University of Singapore, Associate Professor Yeoh Khay-Guan, said there are plans to expand training in palliative care by including it in the curriculum for fourth- and fifth-year students.