Tips on healthcare for Bruneians

Posted on  27/09/2012  |  Media Centre

Low Leng May

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dr Harry Harris delivering his speech.  Picture: BT/Low Leng May

(Top) US Ambassador, Daniel Shields (L) presenting a token of appreciation to Permanent Secretary of MoH, Hj Saifulbahri Hj Mansor at the Health Forum at Radisson Hotel yesterday. (Above) Health representatives from the public and private sectors at the forum. Pictures: BT/Low Leng May

EIGHTY stakeholders from the public and private healthcare industry yesterday were given tips on the evolving trends in healthcare at a Health Forum “Preparing for the Evolving Needs of Brunei’s Healthcare” held at the Radisson Hotel.

The forum, held jointly by the US Embassy and Asia Inc Forum, featured a guest speaker, Dr Harry Harris, founder and president of HealthCare California, one of the biggest home health agencies in the state.

During the forum, Harris delivered a presentation “Key Trends in Healthcare: How can Brunei be Ready”, where he pointed out that senior citizens are placing a large burden on healthcare systems as life expectancy continues to increase. Senior citizens require more medical attention than any other age group due to deteriorating health with old age, he said.

However, he added that the increase in use of advanced medical technology along with electronic health records will help reduce costs by cutting out redundant testings and services. “They will also provide for better individual healthcare outcomes,” he said.

Governments and private employers carry a large burden of covering healthcare costs for current and past employees. Cost-effective strategies must be developed in order to cut down the high costs of healthcare, he said.

Health costs are higher when they are treated later, he said, as treatments for chronic diseases require more lengthy procedures.

“Take care of yourselves as early as possible in your life,” he said during his presentation.

As individuals continue to have an increased concern for their health through education and other informational channels, there will be more attention on pursuing healthy lifestyles, he said. Hence, more advanced research will be carried out to reduce incidences of major health risks such as cancer and stroke; while education and training are conducted to improve health and lower healthcare costs.

Healthcare costs will continue to rise in countries where there are little or no cost controls, he explained.

“In emerging nations, the amount will increase with economic affluence along with more citizen demands. In developed nations, and including Brunei, cost containment will be a key item on the agenda as well as providing enhanced healthcare to ensure early detection of disease and increase wellness for citizens.”

Also attending the forum were the Ambassador of USA to Brunei, Daniel Shields; and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Hj Saifulbahri Hj Mansor, who was present as the guest of honour at the event.

In his speech, Shields expressed hopes that the forum would bring a convergence of ideas and best practices and vision on the healthcare industry in Brunei; while providing networking opportunities and a platform for continued dialogues for health experts in Brunei and USA.

“A hallmark of every great nation is when it is able to recognise and apply continuous improvement to its existing systems,” he said. The Brunei Times