Demand for orthopaedic services surges throughout the years
Bandar Seri Begawan - Orthopaedic services have expanded in Brunei Darussalam with the quality of service improving tremendously over the years.
This is evident through the increase in the scope and range of services offered including a higher workload. Up until 2012, The Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital, as the main tertiary hospital providing orthopaedic services, has been treating around 15,000 patients per year in the outpatient clinic and admits approximately 1,800 patients annually to the wards, including a dedicated one for orthopaedics.
Statistics reveal that orthopaedic surgery is one of the most highly demanded surgical specialty in the Sultanate with an extremely high turnover. A 30 per cent increase in total knee replacements and 200 per cent rise in total hip replacements were also observed in 2012. This reflects the confidence of patients and the general public in the hospital's services, which is made possible with the increase in highly qualified orthopaedic professionals including locals.
This was announced by Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Md Yusof, the Minister of Health yesterday at the International Orthopaedic Conference.
He highlighted that orthopaedic surgeons in the Sultanate treat a whole range of musculo-skeletal conditions and orthopaedic diseases similar to those in other countries.
The majority of the caseload results from trauma such as fractured bones either from road traffic accidents, occupational related injuries, and domestic injuries as well as sports injuries.
Other common cases treated include back pain, osteoarthritis, sports injuries, repetitive strain injuries, shoulder injuries from trauma and sports as well as congenital paediatric cases. Just recently, orthopaedic surgeons have been witnessing a worrying increase in the number of patients suffering from complications due to diabetes, such as infected foot leading to limb amputations.
These diseases and injuries greatly affect a person's general mobility and the ability to earn a living, which in turn, causes significant loss to not only their families and the community but also the nation in terms of productivity and efficiency in executing their work responsibilities.
The minister then shared information from the latest 'Health Information Booklet' published by the Ministry of Health, which stated that the fourth leading cause of hospital outpatient morbidity from 2007 to 2011 came from road traffic accidents and falls while fractures and falls, when added together, becomes the fourth leading cause of admission into the hospital in 2011.
The minister said that despite being able to provide different modalities for treating these cases, it is important for relevant bodies to strengthen interventions focused on prevention.
Thus, the minister urged the audience to live a healthy lifestyle such as maintaining an ideal body weight to prevent obesity, regular and frequent exercises, avoid smoking, a balanced diet and nutrients that include adequate calcium and vitamin D.
Modification of the work environment and avoiding certain repetitive activities will reduce and prevent ameliorate disorders such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and musculo-skeletal pain syndromes.
These 'preventive strategies' also aid in reducing the prevalence and outcome of NCDs such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
As such, the Ministry of Health has been focusing and will continue to strengthen efforts towards preventive and health promotion strategies, including improving public awareness on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle through various initiatives.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin