After the hepatitis C outbreak, world experts weigh in on Singapore’s good infection control measures, commenting that it just needs to ensure that people adhere to them.
Professor David Heymann, chairman of Public Health England, an executive healthcare agency in Britain, said that regular internal and external audits are necessary to ensure adherence at all times.
Sir Liam Donaldson, former chief medical officer at England's Department of Health and now chair of World Alliance for Patient Safety, World Health Organisation (WHO), agreed.
He said: "I'll be surprised if Singapore isn't already familiar with international best practices of infection control. The challenge is if there is a culture of carelessness, lack of leadership. The board, the CEO and the chief nurse should be instilling a culture among the staff of keeping the patients safe.”
Professor Seto Wing Hong, director of WHO's Collaborating Centre for Infection Control in Hong Kong, said Singapore should also pay closer attention to the health organisation's guidelines. Both he and Sir Liam added that Singapore needs to speed up its reporting process.
"If there is even one case of hepatitis C infection, that should be the trigger for action," Sir Liam said.
Changi General Hospital chief nurse Paulin Koh, who was on the review committee, also suggested improving staff education to help improve infection control in hospitals.
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Source: “Good controls exist already: Experts” (The Straits Times, 16 December 2015)