Halal Treatment Malaysia

Halal Treatment in Malaysia

Thanks to strong cultural affinity, Muslim tourists have long chosen Malaysia, its pristine beaches, broad sidewalks and vast malls as a holiday destination. However today, this Southeast Asian country, where Muslims make up about 60 per cent of the population, is gaining recognition in yet another field in sustaining its ‘visitor dividend’.

The country is taking giant strides in coming into the radar of overseas patients on the basis of four pillars: lower costs, shorter recovery time and high quality healthcare. However, what is the fourth?
Halal medical treatment solutions!

What exactly is halal?

According to icv.org.au, halal is an Arabic word that broadly translates to ‘lawful’ or ‘permitted’.

In reference to food, it is the dietary standards, as prescribed in the Qur’an (the Muslim scripture). The opposite of halal is haram, which means ‘unlawful’ or ‘prohibited’. Halal and haram are universal terms that apply to all facets of life. These terms are commonly used in relation to food products, meat products, cosmetics, personal care products, pharmaceuticals and food ingredients, etc.

In general, all foods are considered halal except the following (which are haram): alcoholic drinks and intoxicants, non-halal animal fat, enzymes (expect microbial enzymes), gelatine (fish gelatine is halal) and pork, bacon/ham (and anything from pigs), etc. Importantly, the preparation of fish or seafood or any meat products, etc., should not include alcohol (i.e. batter or wine, or anything considered haram).

Islam is not only a religion but a way of life with protocols, rules and manners governing every facet of life. In this context, halal is a guided approach that could enable anyone, including non-Muslims, to live a life based on time-tested codes and rules.

Malaysia: At the forefront of the halal revolution 
Malaysia is strategically pursuing a larger share of the Muslim market through providing halal treatment solutions, which exclude products forbidden under Islamic law, such as those derived from pork.

Malaysian hospitals are gaining ground in implementing Shariah-compliant medical tourism that has been designed to provide Muslim patients and their families not only with halal foods and facilities such as prayer rooms, but comprehensive medical treatment solutions that abides by Islamic law and care and accommodations that uphold Muslim values.

Though Islam permits the consumption of non-halal ingredients in matters of life and death, in the true spirit of providing halal treatment, hospital pharmacies in Malaysia inform patients of products that are gelatin- and porcine-free. This includes offering the drug Dhamotil as a halal option for diarrhoea, instead of the commonly used Imodium.Hospitals are also using sutures manufactured by a local firm made from lambs slaughtered under Islamic law.

It is no surprise then that Malaysia’s concerted efforts in adhering to the tenets of the halal framework were recognised when the country ranked as the top destination in the world within the Muslim tourism market, when it received the prestigious ‘IMTJ Medical Travel Destination of the Year Award’ for 2015, awarded by GMTI.

Furthermore, GMTIestimates that by 2020, there will be 150 million Muslim travellers spending USD 200 billion. In 2014, research indicated that 108 million Muslim travellers spent close to USD 145 billion. It is no surprise then that the Muslim tourism market is currently considered to be the fastest-growing in the world and Malaysia is at the forefront of capturing a larger slice of this emerging market.

Malaysia: Advanced halal for responsible healing 

Malaysia is relentlessly driving the halal revolution and is more firmly positioning itself in responsible healing.

Consider the fact that work is underway in the country to produce the world’s first halal vaccines for meningitis and hepatitis. The target would be Muslim pilgrims going for Hajj in Saudi Arabia, which requires visitors to be vaccinated for meningitis.

Moreover, Malaysia recently developed globally-recognised guidelines for the development of pharmaceuticals that are not prohibited by Islamic law and that meet the most demanding quality standards. These guidelines are known as the MS 2424. The Malaysian Department of Standards, in collaboration with the Technical Committee of Halal Food and Islamic Consumer Goods, developed the MS 2424 to provide guidelines for the development and handling of halal pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical companies that want to manufacturer halal-certified pharmaceuticals must follow the guidelines set out by the MS 2424.
Today, Malaysia has created an attractive halal-friendly environment for Muslim medical tourists by implementing strict standards to reassure that halal-certified pharmaceuticals and foods are of the highest qualityand by collaborating with agencies and companies across various industries to assure that the needs and standards of Muslims medical tourists are satisfied.

Malaysia: Fostering a rigorous halal ecosystem for patient assurance

Malaysia is the only country in the world where the halal industry development agenda is backed by the government, which translates into the existence of a unique ecosystem that allows synergy between the private and public sectors. This ecosystem works in perfect unison with the private players focusing on production, manufacturing and serviceswhile the public agenciescoordinating the industry’s progress by providing certification and training. This collaboration is unique to anywhere in the world, fortifying the confidence of Muslim patients in seeking halal medical options in the country.

The Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), the Islamic Tourism Center (ITC) and the Malaysian Department of Standards, through their well-orchestrated efforts, are ensuring an ecosystem where halal is looked at comprehensively and holistically. For instance, while HDC is responsible for coordinating the developments of the halal industry throughout Malaysia through setting standards, conducting audits and providing certifications, in order for food manufacturers and kitchens to become halal-certified, they must successfully pass an audit that confirms that they are abiding by specific guidelines, as ratified by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia. Furthermore, ITC caters to the needs of Muslim tourists by facilitating access to halal directoriesand Muslim-friendly hotels and travel agencies.

Malaysia has 13 halal standards, which not only certify food items as well as food premises, but also cosmetics, personal care, pharmaceutical products and logistics.

Apart from the food and pharmaceutical industries, the Malaysian halal industry players have also been actively producing halal vaccines, nutraceutical products (dietary supplements and medicinal food ingredients) as well as devices that are used during medical operations.

These sectors have seen various new products and developments.As for the nutraceutical sector, there are a number of emerging big companies that produces halal supplements.

Today, anchored on the halal approach to medical treatment, Malaysia’s healthcare system has gone beyond just meeting Islamic or Shariah requirements but also the hygiene and safety aspects which have been an integral part of the country’s medical standards. This has made Malaysia an attractive medical magnet for non-Muslim medical tourists too.

Halal is here to stay

Halal is associated with ethical consumerism, which signifies high-quality, safe and ethical products. Halal is gaining currency, principally driven by two key trends that include the following:

  • Rise in Muslim consumer spending

Muslim consumer spending in 2014 was USD1.8 trillion and this is expected to surge to USD2.6 trillion in 2020.

  • Growth in the worldwide Muslim population

The worldwide Muslim population grew at 2x the rate of the global population, i.e. the world’s population is projected to grow 35 per cent in the coming decades but the Muslim base is expected to grow by a sharper 73 per cent – from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.8 billion in 2050. Concurrently, by 2050, Muslims are expected to make up about 30 per cent of the world’s population.

Based on these statistics, it is evident that the global halal sector will be the fastest growing consumer segment in the world. And with an eye on the future, Malaysia, with the most developed Islamic ecosystem, is further fortifying its strengths in halal and emerging as the medical market of choice for anyone looking at holistic, low-cost, safe and hygienic treatment.

GD Assist, as a reputed healthcare tourism management company in Bangladesh, possesses an unparalleled hospital network association and database of hospitals and medical professionals, thereby offering patients a wide range of affordable, high-impact and halal medical solutions in Malaysia.

So call GD Assist today for booking an appointment.

Hotline: 16457; +8801617666888. Email: gdal@green-delta.com

Website:  gdassist.com

Gift Good Health This Eid

Are you someone who is always on the look-out for innovative gifting ideas, especially during the joyous festival of Eid, after the holy month of Ramadan? If you think that giving sweetmeats is a thing of the past, giving designer clothes is a boring idea, giving expensive gadgets is unimaginative and giving money is so ‘yesterday’, we have just the right gifting idea for you.

It is a common belief that health is wealth. So this Eid, why not gift the invaluable wealth of good health and happiness to your loved ones? The cheer and happiness that this precious gift will provide you and your family will be priceless. Plus, gifting a health check-up package will not only enable you to stand out as someone who is innovative but also stand tall as someone who is responsible. Interested? Read on…

Gift the wealth of good health to your dad, around whom your world revolves

Your father lives a hectic life, works till late and works on holidays, just to provide you with every possible comfort. Or you also maybe someone who’s father is aged and you are constantly worried about his health. In the humdrum and business of life, he may have neglected his health. Hence, this is just the right time for you to gift him an executive health check-up package that can help detect early warning signs of any emerging health issue, while also allowing him to improve his lifestyle for a healthier tomorrow. Also, the penance offered in the holy month of Ramadan by virtue of fasting, etc., could have worn out his health and hence, Eid would be the ideal time to take him for a health check-up.

Research has proven the fact that getting health check-ups on a regular basis can actually increase life expectancy, while also enabling the participant to make appropriate lifestyle choices that could contribute to healthy sustenance in the future. Importantly, the diagnostics performed in such a check-up provides health information that can be vital in spotting early signs of health issues such as heart problems, diabetes, cancer and other complications that could reduce the quality of life. Also, timely check-ups could prevent one to spend large sums in health recuperation and restoration that could have easily been avoided. So a health check-up is not just a panel of clinical tests performed by a team of specialists supported by advanced diagnostic technology with prompt service, but also an opportunity for you to ensure that your father lives the rest of his life in good health and happiness.

Gift the wealth of good health to your mother, the anchor in your life

Let’s face it. When it comes to getting a health check-up done, some of the most common refrains that we hear is, “Health check-up? But I’m too healthy to get a health check-up!” or “What for? I’m too busy for a health check-up” or “Why spend money now? Can’t you see I’m fine!”

The importance of ‘ma’ in one’s life cannot be emphasised by words. You are in this world because of your mother and whatever you are today is also because of her. Hence, isn’t it your responsibility as a dutiful son or daughter to ensure that your mother lives in peace and comfort in her senior years, especially since she has spent many sleepless nights in raising you while bearing much pain and hardship? In her everyday life, your mother would have forgotten to maintain a balanced diet but would have never forgotten to put food on your plate. She would have forgone her exercise routine and would have made many lifestyle choices that would have been unhealthy.

This thus corroborates with the fact that many medical experts are of the view that every woman should get end-to-end health check-ups done every year, especially those above 50 years of age. So how about surprising your mother by gifting her a comprehensive health check package for her complete health assessment? With increasing prevalence of cardiac and other lifestyle diseases, especially among women, it is of utmost importance for every woman to get heart screening done once every 2-3 years. Hence, you can also gift her an advanced cardiac package. It can help detect any risk factors for heart disease at an early stage when treatment can be more effective along with prevention from this silent killer.

Also, a number of healthcare packages that include both tests and consultations are available customised for women and are especially designed to suit their basic needs for a health check-up. Hence, by getting the right health services, screenings and treatments, you are indeed taking steps that can help your mother live a longer and healthier life.

Gift the wealth of good health to an aunt or uncle, who made your life happy and enjoyable

Do you remember longing to visit your aunt’s house during the summer vacations just so that you could have an enjoyable holiday in her farmhouse? Or do you remember your uncle taking you out on weekends when your father was too busy with his work and could not find the time? Well, it is these relatives that make one’s life happy and memorable. So now it is time for you to payback and what better way to do so than to gift him/her a health check package.

Undoubtedly, prevention in the form of health check-up is both effective and cheaper than treatment. A regular health check-up not only improves one’s long-term health quality but also reduces long-term healthcare expenses. Moreover, early detection gives one the best chance for getting the right treatment quickly, while avoiding any complications. Some of the popular health checks include:

  • Cervical smear tests (Pap tests) for women
  • Blood pressure tests
  • Cholesterol level checks
  • Body mass index (BMI) and obesity tests
  • Diabetes checks

The plus point is that if your aunt or uncle has any other specific health concerns, then the health check-up would open up an opportunity for him/her to speak with the doctor who would advise on further checks or provide consultative action.

Encourage others to take their health in their own hands

Here is an innovative idea for you to do something different and highly impactful. You can start a campaign in your community to encourage others to make an appointment for a check-up or health screening, say on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, each year. You can champion the cause of good health while encouraging your friends and relatives so that this could emerge as a successful community initiative. Who knows, you might emerge as a social media star who finds fame as someone who has his/her heart in the right place!

So take charge of your family’s health and schedule an appointment with GD Assist today. We offer a wide variety of services for exceptional treatment and care for you and your family. Contact us now!

Hotline: 16457; +8801617666888. Email: gdal@green-delta.com

Website:  gdassist.com

Sports Injury GD Assist

Sports Medicine: A High-Potential Medical Niche

In sports, injuries are inevitable.

Sit back for a few seconds and think of the challenges that athletes face: exhausting training schedules, gruelling fitness sessions, lost matches, excruciating pain, unbearable injuries, heart-breaking failures and personal adversity. The reality is that even when sportspeople are in their peak physical form and specifically train to stay fit, a single errant step, an awkward landing, an ankle sprain, a hamstring strain, a violent collision, a misjudged stride or a fatal fall can bend joints and twist limbs in painful ways.

But the good news is that the way in which technology, medical care and advancements in surgery have developed, many of the breaks, sprains, and tears are no longer the career-enders that athletes fear. With the right rehabilitation athletes can return to their peak form – becoming better, faster and stronger. This is the importance of sports medicine and as injuries grow more complex and with a larger number of people taking to sports and the outdoors, the specialised field of sports medicine is emerging as a high-potential medical niche.

The rehabilitative impact of sports medicine

The rehabilitative impact of sports medicine is undeniable. Take the case of Tiger Woods, the legendary golfing icon. Woods came into the 2008 US Open after suffering a double-stress fracture of his left tibia. After intense therapy and recuperation and, of course, unquestionable mental strength, Woods gritted his teeth through five days of golf and 91 holes, defeating Rocco Mediate in a riveting playoff. The championship win is one of the most legendary performances by Woods in his career.

Or, take the instance of Michael Phelps, the celebrated swimming great.

Phelps is considered to be no less than the greatest Olympian swimmer of all time. Everyone thought that no swimmer would be able to win 8 gold medals in just one Olympic games. Phelps did just that and he has a tally of 19 Olympic medals, 15 of which are gold. The remarkable thing about him is that as a child, he suffered from ADHD and was on medication. Most assume that people with ADHD suffer from restlessness, impulsiveness and a very short attention span. However, medical intervention and rehabilitation ensured that Phelps could turn his weaknesses into his strength as he developed an incredible capacity to remain hyper-focused on the activity he was most passionate about, exploiting the positive side of ADHD. Phelps has shown that he can beat the most disciplined and strongest swimmers in the world, thanks to sports medicine.

But what exactly is sports medicine?

Sports medicine is a medical specialty that deals with the treatment and prevention of injuries related to sports and fitness. Healthcare professionals who work in this interdisciplinary medical field focus not only on treating sports-related injuries but also on injury prevention, rehabilitation, nutrition and performance training in order to help athletes not only stay at the peak of their performance for longer periods but also raise the bar and improve their game.

A sports medicine specialty team often involves physicians who are trained in sports medicine, as well as orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists, trainers, coaches and others. The team works together to help patients get back into ‘top shape’ as safely and quickly as possible.

Sports medicine fills a much-needed niche in medicine. Sports and outdoor-related injuries are common, not only among professional athletes but also among those who are active. Although sports medicine is a relatively new medical specialty, it has become indispensable for athletes with its targeted focus on their unique needs and concerns. It is without doubt that reputable sports medicine specialists and surgeons can make a tremendous difference in the lives of athletes and sportspeople.

Benefits of sports medicine

Athletes and sportspeople put their bodies to test every day in ways most of us might have a hard time imagining. Consider the fact that in the nearly year-round training season leading up to the Tour de France, for instance, a rider will work his way up to 6 hours of cycling a day for 5-6 days a week at varying levels of intensity. He might ride 60, 100, even 180-km in a single day to simulate what he’ll experience on the Tour! While Tour de France riders are exceptional athletes in a category of their own, professional and aspiring pro-tennis players, golfers, basketball players, footballers, cricketers and athletes of every variety also spend a huge number of hours on the court, course, field or in the gym. Such intense training can take its toll on the body and injuries are virtually inevitable. This is why having a skilled sports medicine doctor is essential, providing the following benefits:

Enhanced athletic performance: Sports medicine specialists often play a role in developing tailored training programs constructed around an athlete’s individual needs, strengths and weaknesses. These experts have the knowledge and the tools to evaluate an athlete’s anatomical strengths and weaknesses, making training regimen recommendations and identifying areas for improvement.

Suitable customisation: Sports medicine physicians are specially-trained to care for athletes, fitness professionals and active individuals. They understand the impact of sports and exercise on their patients’ bodies, such as concussions and repetitive motion injuries, and work closely with orthopaedic surgeons and physical therapists to develop tailored treatment plans that suit each patient’s specific needs.

Cutting-edge treatment options: From leading-edge reconstructive surgical techniques to regenerative medicine procedures like platelet-rich plasma therapy and stem cell therapy, sports medicine physicians and surgeons leverage the latest techniques and procedures to help restore function to injured areas.

Injury and re-injury prevention: Sports medicine physicians have an in-depth understanding of how athletes use their bodies during practice and play. As such, they provide patients with expert advice and instructions on preventing injuries and avoiding re-injuring a previously damaged area. They help professional and novice athletes alike make important ‘return to play’ decisions while conducting pre-participation physical assessments to ensure their patients are ready to resume activities.

Sports injury prevention

Preventing injuries requires good form and technique and good equipment while training/playing/exercising. Even the most seasoned athletes should work themselves into shape slowly, especially after a sedentary period. It may be tempting to jump right into a former routine without preparing, but this is a recipe for injury.

Athletes should warm-up before each exercise session and cool down afterwards. They should stretch regularly, use good technique (a performance training program can help in this area) and be mindful of fatigue and dehydration, which can impair concentration and lead to an injury/re-injury. Athletes should always respond to the signals their body is sending—dizziness, faintness, nausea, overheating and extreme fatigue are all clear warning signs. Hence, prevention is really the best form of treatment.

Nonetheless, injuries happen and the ‘PRICE’ method is usually the first line of treatment for less severe injuries. The PRICE method involves:

  • Protection
  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Therapeutic exercise such as stretching, core exercises, and weight lifting, heat treatments, massage, aquatic therapy, balance training, spinal traction and other therapies (including minimally invasive surgeries) can also constitute some other treatment and recovery options.

GD Assist, as a leading healthcare management and medical tourism destination, has forged an exclusive alliance with Imago Sports Management to promote sports treatment and sports-related health services in Bangladesh. With this association, the alliance offers patients access to the latest diagnostic tools and treatment solutions for sports-related injuries, including a range of ankle, shoulder, knee, elbow and hip injuries.

So, call GD Assist to schedule an appointment today and take a step closer on your path to recovery.

Hotline: 16457; +8801617666888. Email: gdal@green-delta.com

Website:  gdassist.com

All You Wanted to Know About Thalassemia

Seeking adoption, a couple in Malaysia were happy to have a bonny boy aged about 1 year. The parents were aware that the infant had a medical condition that was listed as thalassemia major. Though earlier, the parents were worried and overwhelmed at their son’s condition, the reality was that the child, who’s now about 5-years-old, is like any other child, expect for the fact that he needs to undergo blood transfusion once a month. And then it’s back to typical life.

Though thalassemia is a serious and chronic medical condition, it is not life-threatening. Instead, it is about ensuring compliance with the treatment schedule. So what exactly is thalassemia? Here’s all you wanted to know about it…

Thalassemia: A hereditary blood disorder

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that passes from parents to children through the genes. It is caused when the bone marrow doesn’t create enough of a protein called haemoglobin, which is an important constituent of the red blood cells. What happens is when there isn’t enough haemoglobin, the body’s red blood cells fail to function properly, lasting for shorter periods of time. The outcome is that there are fewer healthy red blood cells travelling in the bloodstream.

On their part, red blood cells carry oxygen to all the cells of the body. So when there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells, there is also not enough oxygen delivered to all the other cells of the body, which may cause a person to feel tired, weak or short of breath. This is a condition called anaemia and patients with thalassemia may have mild or severe anaemia.

In its more minor form, a person with thalassemia may have his/her red blood cells smaller in size or the red blood cells may be less, causing him/her to be slightly anaemic. In its most severe form, the bone marrow does not create functional red blood cells at all. This would cause the patient to be chronically anaemic with no way to recover his/her haemoglobin levels. Such patients rely on donated blood by receiving blood transfusions every 2-4 weeks to survive. Transfusions have to take place typically every 21-28 days for a child and 14-21 days for an adult.

Thalassemia: Transmission and detection

If two people who each carry the same form of thalassemia trait have a child, there is a 25 per cent chance that this child will be born with a severe form of thalassemia.

Those with moderate or severe forms of thalassemia usually find out about their condition in childhood since they have symptoms of severe anaemia early in life. Those with less severe forms of thalassemia may only find out because they are having symptoms of anaemia or perhaps because a doctor finds anaemia on a routine blood test.

Finding out if one carries the thalassemia trait is not hard. The physician will look at the mean corpuscular volume (MCV) of the complete blood count (CBC). If the MCV is 80 or less and if one is not iron-deficient, then one may have thalassemia trait. Other blood tests, including a haemoglobin electrophoresis and a quantification of haemoglobin A2 and haemoglobin F, can also verify the status of the trait.

A haematologist treats thalassemia. In some cases, the treatment can also be dispensed by an oncologist, though thalassemia is NOT a form of cancer.

The question that is uppermost on the mind of most having thalassemia or the family members of such patients is that if thalassemia leads to a deficit of red blood cells, can it be treated with iron supplements?

The short answer is ‘no’.

Thalassemia is not a form of anaemia that is caused by iron deficiency. In fact, those with transfusion-dependent thalassemia often limit iron in their diets as they already receive too much iron from each transfusion. The body cannot get rid of excess iron on its own and transfusion-reliant patients need to take chelation medication to excrete as much iron from the body as possible. Chelation refers to the removal of excess iron from the body. Instead, those with thalassemia are recommended to take multivitamins without iron.

Thalassemia: Types and severity

Thalassemia can be principally classified either as ‘alpha’ or ‘beta’, according to the specific part of haemoglobin that is affected. In other words, when thalassemia is called alpha or beta, it refers to the part of haemoglobin that isn’t being made. If either the alpha or beta part is not made, there aren’t enough building blocks to make normal amounts of haemoglobin. While low alpha is called alpha thalassemia, low beta is called beta thalassemia.

When words such as ‘trait’,‘minor’,‘intermedia’ or ‘major’ are used, they usually describe the severity of the thalassemia. A person who has thalassemia trait may not have any symptoms at all or may have only mild anaemia, while a person with thalassemia major may have severe symptoms and may need regular blood transfusions.

The type of thalassemia a person has depends on how many and what type of traits for thalassemia he/she has inherited or received from his/her parents. Also, having a thalassemia trait means that one may not have any symptoms but one may pass that trait on to their children and increase their risk for having thalassemia.

Sometimes, thalassemia is also referred to by other names like Constant Spring, Cooley’s Anaemia or Haemoglobin Bart Hydrops Fetalis. These names are specific to certain thalassemia. For instance, Cooley’s Anaemia is the same thing as beta thalassemia major.

Thalassemia: Symptoms and treatment plan 

The rare case of the most severe form of alpha thalassemia major may cause stillbirth. Though children born with beta thalassemia major are normal at birth, they tend to develop severe anaemia during the first year of life. The other symptoms of thalassemia can include:

Those with the minor form of alpha and beta thalassemia have small and abnormally-shaped red blood cells (when seen under a microscope) but no visible external symptoms.

The treatment plan for thalassemia often involves regular blood transfusions and folate supplements. If one receives blood transfusions, one should not take iron supplements. Doing so can cause a high amount of iron build-up in the body, which can be harmful.

A transfusion typically takes about 4 hours (as an outpatient). The actual length of time at the hospital may be from 4-7 hours. For transfusions, while some patients may be scheduled on a regular basis, it being important for the quality of life, others can schedule transfusions based on haemoglobin levels a day or two before the actual transfusion. The general range where a patient would fall and be considered in need of a transfusion would be with haemoglobin levels of 9-10.

For transfusions, it is critically important that the blood be exactly matched. This is not the same as when a transfusion would be otherwise required, say in an accident. For chronic/routine transfusions, patients may develop antibodies and hence doctors need to phenotypically match the blood.

It is important to understand that while thalassemia cannot be cured, it can certainly be managed and rigorous alignment with the treatment plan can have a patient live a long and normal life.

GD Assist, as a responsible medical management and healthcare enterprise, observes the World Thalassemia Day on 8th May every year. The organisation commemorates the day and focuses on raising awareness about thalassemia in Bangladesh, especially among those who might be ‘silent’ carriers of the disease and may face health complications in the future. In this mission, GD Assist organises blood donation camps and free consultation sessions conducted by experts and also works towards enlisting a larger number of the population to come forward and donate blood with a view to subsequently creating a blood bank.

The World Thalassemia Day is just round the corner (8th May 2018). So if you want to know more about thalassemia or donate blood, we cordially invite you to spend the day with us and look forward to your active participation.

So, call GD Assist today for an appointment.

Hotline: 16457; +8801617666888. Email: gdal@green-delta.com

Website:  gdassist.com

Second Medical Opinion

How many dealers did you visit before you bought a car? Were you happy with the first quote you got for your kitchen renovation work? Did you assign the job to the first contractor who gave you his costings for upgrading your office?

When it comes to your finances, your home, your work or your belongings, it makes sense to do your research, shop around and ensure that you’re getting the best advice. But are you as rigorous and cautious when it comes to your health? Have you ever considered the value that a second medical opinion can bring to your table?

Interestingly, in the case of this gentleman, a second medical opinion saved his life. While visiting Malaysia for a hernia operation, the specialists at the hospital discovered that his heart was severely blocked, a heart attack was imminent, he should do an ECG first and only then could the hernia issue be addressed. Evaluating this information and his choices, the patient flew back to his home country, showed the diagnosis for a second opinion to his existing treatment professional who ratified his condition with the result that he flew back to Malaysia, completed the angioplasty and returned back to his country in a much healthier condition.

So if you’re someone who hasn’t ever considered a second medical opinion or are sitting on the fringes to make up your mind to do so, you must understand that patients who seek a second opinion do not necessarily think their diagnosis is incorrect nor do they essentially disagree with the recommended treatment. In other words, most patients, through a second medical opinion, seek genuine information in a readily understandable form. They may be unhappy with the way their diagnosis and treatment recommendations were communicated to them and they may be solely seeking a clearer explanation or a doctor with whom they feel they can share a better rapport with.

A second medical opinion is your right

In order to get the best outcome from a second opinion, it is important to first negotiate the issues of power and autonomy in your relationship with your health professional. As a patient, it is your right to seek advice and to be in-charge of what happens to your body.

Respect for autonomy is drummed into health professionals because the power balance in the specialist-patient relationship generally vests in favour of the specialist. Ideally, your medical professional has to put you in a zone where you are treated as a partner and collaborator in the process of being treated and the journey towards healing and health. In this context, your opinions and preferences should be respected and honoured, regardless of the option you choose to take.

It is understandable that many patients are resolutely loyal to their practitioners under any circumstances, so much so that the concept of a ‘family doctor’ is prevalent in most families. Such people usually feel that a second medical opinion is almost synonymous with betrayal or a breach of trustand wouldn’t think about it even for a second time unless they have fallen out completely with their existing doctor.

On the other hand, it has been observed that those on the other side of the equation (doctors, specialists, clinicians, etc.), especially those who are well-experienced, welcome the chance to have a fresh opinion on an existing issue and, as such, they are happy to cooperate and provide all the information necessary for the appraisal and judgement of a second-opinion doctor.

Hence, it is important to understand that getting a second medical opinion is not akin to a betrayal or a breach of trust.

The value of a second medical opinion

When your healthcare provider recommends surgery or a major procedure or treatment, it’s smart to get a second opinion from another expert. But, how do you know a second opinion is in order? And how do you go about getting one?

Here are some answers.

If you choose to go for a second opinion, it’s a good rule to ask a doctor with at least the same level of knowledge of your health condition, as your current healthcare provider. Consider contacting a specialist. Your current healthcare provider may be able to suggest someone.Even better, ask someone at an institution specialising in your condition, like a cancer treatment centre or a heart surgery centre. These centres will normally have a team of experts readily available to review your case.

Hence, it makes sense to get a second opinion when you face a medical condition that is life-changing or even life-threatening, which can help you:

Become a more educated healthcare consumer

  • Confirm that your diagnosis is appropriate
  • Confirm that the recommended treatment is appropriate
  • Compare outcomes of the treatments you are offered

Ultimately, a second opinion can help you make the best decisions for your health and hence, is in your own interest.

So how should you approach a second medical opinion?These questions offer a good place to start:

  • Is the diagnosis correct?
  • What are my choicesand the pros and cons of each?
  • What would happen if I wait or chose no treatment?
  • What should I do with the results?

If the second healthcare provider agrees with the first, you can move forward with more confidence. So generally, this should be your approach to a second medical opinion.

Here are some more tips:

1: Let your regular doctor know. It will help preserve your long-term relationship and ensure that the new one you are seeing can get all the information they need to make their evaluation.

2: Be clear about the reason for the second opinion. If the second medical opinion is different from the first, are you ready to re-think the prevailing diagnosis or treatment plan? Hearteningly, several studies have indicated that the second-opinion specialists tended to choose treatment plans with greater intervention if they knew there was a pre-existing, more conservative opinion.

3: Be open with the new healthcare professional. If you are one of those who is seeking a second medical opinion for want of better communication with your caregiver, it would be reasonable to assume that you will be more satisfied with a clinician you can relate to well.

4: Second opinions tend to lead to spending more time and effort, especially if you have to travel long or fairly long distances. You may feel more obliged to follow the second advice you’ve gone for, spending so much effort to obtain it. Hence, it is advisable to take your time to consider the second opinion as carefully as you did the first.

Sometimes, medical specialists themselves push you for a second opinion and that’s not a bad thing.

There are certain sets of doctors/clinicians who can be categorised as per the following behavioural traits.

Some are those who come from the totalitarian era of ‘doctor knows the best’and regard informed patients with misgiving and suspicion. Yet again, there are those with authoritarianpersonalities and their verdict (almost dictatorial) is expected to be considered as the final truth. The other set comprises those medical practitioners who are so stressed or so busy that they react with frustration or anger to a request from a patient for extra information or time to consider their options.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who falter or are wayward in terms of assuming even basic duties of a caregiver. With this set, the balance is completely towards patient autonomyand they seem to feel no genuine responsibility on their part to advise or motivate their patients. For them, once the patient is out of sight, s/he is usually out of their mind.

Hence, if your first-opinion doctor seems to react rather poorly or not at all to your requests, a second opinion might be exactly what they wrote invisibly in your prescription and that’s a good thing.

So if you are a patient, or if you know someone who is a patient, refer them to GD Assist. GD Assist has launched Second Medical Opinion (SMO) services in association with Assist America, Inc. and this service has been introduced in Bangladesh directly from the US. This alliance is aligned with the company’s focus on working towards the objective of delivering international-grade healthcare facilities at the doorstep of the people of Bangladesh, at an affordable cost.

Remember then. In some cases, a second opinion can be your bridge between life and death, especially for grave, complex and critical illnesses.

So, call GD Assist today for an appointment.

Hotline: 16457; +8801617666888

Email: gdal@green-delta.com

Telemedicine: A game-changer in healthcare delivery

A healthcare emergency can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Take the instance of Bashir ul-Quadir, a 48-year-old taxation consultant who was holidaying in one of the remote islands of Greece. He suddenly fell ill but found it difficult to find a doctor in the vicinity. However, thanks to some quick thinking and a fairly strong broadband link, he availed of a video consultation service that saved his time and money. He recuperated in two days and was back parasailing in the pristine waters of the Mediterranean.

Or take the example of Nasreen Malik whose seven-year-old son developed a severe stomach ache at 1:00am. Unable to get in touch with her regular paediatric at that unearthly hour, she was able to get access to an immediate resolution via online video consultancy after the doctor on the other end of the line understood her son’s case history and symptoms. The result was that the child could sleep peacefully at night and go to school the next day morning.

Hence, the benefits of video consultancy as an effective mode of healthcare delivery are evident in terms of speedy remediation, accompanied by savings of time and cost.

Advantage of video consultancy

There are a number of upfront advantages of video consultancy VS traditional healthcare:

  • Near zero wait times:

For traditional healthcare, the wait time is typically about 60 minutes for OPD and about 4-5 hours for a specialist. Video consultancy on the other hand is immediate and booking an appointment with a specialist is instant. Moreover, in a traditional healthcare environment, the queues are also longer, thereby consuming more time. Plus, when one considers the travel time to and from the clinic, there is again a substantive time saving, especially for those living in crowded urban centres.

  • Un-fixed timings:

For conventional healthcare delivery, consultation at a medical centre or a hospital is almost always at a fixed time. In this context, telemedicine, or video consultation, empowers the patient with the unmatched convenience of ‘un-fixed’ timing in terms of anytime or 24×7 consultation. This is most beneficial for emergency situations when help may not be immediately available.

  • Cost savings:

Orthodox healthcare service delivery is more expensive than video consultancy. For one, there is the cost associated with travel and transportation and this becomes zero when one avails of video consultation. Second, video consultation services are normally much lower priced than conventional healthcare. One of the other major advantages is the fact that follow-up services for video consultation is almost immediate and lower-priced (in some cases free of cost), thereby benefitting the patient significantly.

  • Better utilisation of resources:

Telemedicine can allow stronger utilisation of doctors and other medical professionals, hence benefitting the patient directly, as well as ensuring a larger patient universe for the consultants. This mutually-beneficial healthcare delivery model is equally suited to all participants in the ecosystem.

  • Bridging the healthcare divide

Conventional healthcare infrastructure and resources are generally considered to be of sub-quality in rural and suburban areas. Telemedicine solves this issue by virtue of its ability to deliver quality healthcare to the remotest corners of a country. By making quality healthcare accessible and affordable, telemedicine has a transformative power in the health and wellness aspirations of a society that is especially located in remote areas. Moreover, telemedicine transcends borders and the patient can receive consultation from doctors from abroad too.

Telemedicine and Bangladesh

With limited medical resources and much of the population living in remote and rural areas, telemedicine has the potential to revolutionise the delivery of healthcare in a country like Bangladesh. Since a healthy nation always positively contributes to lowering the governmental burden on healthcare expenses and tends to also ensure enhanced resource productivity, telemedicine has a direct bearing on the GDP and wellbeing of a country, especially Bangladesh that has now transitioned into a middle-income nation with the demographic dividend expected to bear a stronger influence on economic growth.

By getting a larger number of patients into the folds of telemedicine, the authorities can hope to build a stronger and well-profiled database of citizens, especially those living in the furthest corners of the country. This database can be accessed for profiling and development of targeted governmental health programmes that could further benefit those suffering from particular ailments, like cataract. Also, understanding seasonal trends and its impact on the health of a population cluster through telemedicine can also enable the government to develop preventive healthcare initiatives, especially for dreaded diseases like dengue, malaria, etc.

Thanks to the government’s Digital Bangladesh emphasis, the country’s broadband speed and penetration is on the rise with a large number of people being tech-savvy and well-versed with different ‘screens’. Moreover, rural broadband penetration is also on the rise, which bodes well for telemedicine, enabling the technology to facilitate HD video calling, thereby allowing doctors to listen, engage and diagnose the issues of patients and provide an effective treatment plan.

With a large and growing population of 168-million and very high population densities, telemedicine is the answer to revolutionising healthcare in Bangladesh by providing a healing touch to the largest number in the quickest possible time.

So, call GD Assist today for an appointment.

Hotline:16457; +8801617666888

Email: gdal@green-delta.com

Thailand: The world’s preferred healthcare destination

While on vacation, what would you rather do? Laze on the beaches, stroll along the promenade, enjoy the balmy evenings sipping ice tea, shop your heart out and sample the latest dish that has gone viral on Instagram, wouldn’t you?

Or would your idea of a vacation ever be of going to a hospital for treatment? A growing number of people are crossing international borders for receiving medical services ranging from a hip replacement to cosmetic surgery in such type of a country that is also the most fun holiday destination in the world.

Thailand: A vibrant medical ecosystem

Thailand’s economy comprises a robust and thriving medical industry that is among the largest in Southeast Asia and is renowned across the world. From the world’s leading medical tourism sector to vibrant sectors comprising those of pharmaceuticals and medical devices and implants, supplemented by academic research, the Thai medical sector is emerging as the preferred medical destination for foreign patients, promoting wellness and hospitality in a holistic way.

Relative to its Asian neighbours and compared to global leaders, Thailand has a large healthcare sector that is the priority of the Thai government. The country ranks ‘first’ in the ASEAN group in public healthcare expenditure with as much as 14 per cent of the Thai budget allocated to healthcare, which is much ahead of India and comparable to that of China. Sustained investments have thus catapulted Thailand to the forefront of Asian countries with the government committed to promoting healthcare that is at the cutting-edge, yet cost-effective in terms of affordability.

To showcase its intent, the government, along with the Thai Board of Investment, recently established a 10-year programme, ‘Thailand, a Hub of Wellness and Medical Services’ (2016-25) that is anchored on four major areas of:

  • Wellness
  • Medical services
  • Academics
  • Medical products

Thus, foreign patients visiting Thailand for treatment can not only expect a vibrant medical ecosystem but can also be assured in their belief of being provided with modern healthcare facilities that are safe and secure and pocket-friendly and high-impact.

Medical tourism: A mandate of Thai government

To supplement the government’s efforts, the Thailand Board of Investment has declared its support to push Thailand as the medical hub of Asia to provide medical services, latest medical technology and medicine and every activity related to modern medicine, alternative medicine and biotechnology.

The government is also making Thailand the medical hub of Asia as it is confident that Thailand has outstanding fundamental competitive advantages in the medical field and its human resource is recognised to be of international standards. Yet another objective is to encourage health establishments in Thailand to improve their services to higher standards. As per the latest figures, Thailand has 256 private hospitals with most of them internationally-accredited and 33 spas that are classified as world-class.

Given Thailand’s reputation for polite and attentive service, it is not hard to see why Bangkok has quickly become the medical tourism hub of Asia. Bangkok’s arterial Suvarnabhumi Airport is serviced by airlines from around the world, reasonably-priced hotel rooms abound, there is reliable public transportation and 30-day visas for many nationalities are easy to get upon arrival, all of which help to make a visit and stay efficient and effective.

Western accreditation is also a vital component for reinforcing patient confidence in undergoing foreign medical treatment and Bangkok’s Bumrangrad and Samitivej hospitals are among Southeast Asia’s first recipients of the United States’ prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI) certification, which is seen as the gold standard for healthcare service providers around the world.

Hospitals in Thailand are also popular with those who travel from neighbouring Asian countries to seek treatment. Bangkok Hospital, which specifically caters to medical tourists, has an entire Japanese wing, while Phyathai Hospitals Group  has translators for 22 languages, including Swedish, Khmer and Flemish, as well as a team of English-speaking staff.

Thai healthcare is built around patient comfort

Some hospitals in Bangkok can feel like a shopping mall or a five-star hotel, offering VIP suites and also housing world-leading fast-food joints and cafés like McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Bangkok has the largest private hospital in Southeast Asia, Bumrungrad, which is a hub of medical tourism in Thailand with patients coming here for receiving treatment from all corners of the globe. Besides, in as early as 2002, Bumrungrad became the first hospital in Asia to be accredited by the JCI, which promotes rigorous standards of care in more than 90 countries around the globe.

It is evident hence that Thailand, together with Singapore and India, account for an estimated 80 per cent of the global medical tourism market and Thailand alone for about 40 per cent of this pool. Assessing its credentials as an international medical hub, the Thai government noted that the country led its Asian counterparts on service, matched India on cost and Singapore on quality of staff. Also, though Thailand and Singapore each had 13 hospitals accredited by JCI, over the past few years, Thailand outpaced this lead when 17 more Thai facilities received the endorsement as compared with Singapore’s nine.

With uncertain economic growth across regions, medical tourists are increasingly relying on treatment costs to make their travel decisions. Meshed with this reality is the fact that cost is where Thailand really excels. For instance, a heart bypass surgery, including a week’s stay in any of the leading hospitals in Bangkok, can be way cheaper compared to similar treatment options in the US for a patient without health insurance. Besides, Thailand also offers much lower waiting times which means that late diagnosis for ailments can be treated with urgency and without delays.

Thailand is the most affordable medical destination with many procedures costing 40-60 per cent less than the same treatment in the EU. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has reported that patients from Southeast Asia make up 80 per cent of Thailand’s medical tourists. Thailand has earned a strong reputation over the years by providing a wealth of procedures such as cosmetic treatments, dentistry and traditional Thai medicine.

Thailand: The lure of a vacation and off-time

Part of Thailand’s medical tourism success is due to its wider popularity as the world’s leading holiday destination. In addition to experiencing Thai hospitals and clinics first-hand, a large number of global travellers are enticed by the nation’s charming islands, pristine white beaches, breath-taking natural landscapes and a wide variety of shopping and entertainment destinations that has helped Thailand emerge as a complete ‘package’ for healthcare and wellness while assuring patients and their families some much-needed off-time to beat stress.

Committing to airfares, accommodation, out of network or uninsured medical bills and time-off work is a big decision for travellers to make. Yet it seems for many, the benefits and savings outweigh the risks as medical tourists throng Thailand to seek treatment for ailments, for general check-ups and for cosmetic medical procedures.

At GD Assist, we are specialised in medical tourism for Thailand with our strong network alliance with hospitals around the nation and other air and surface logistics providers that enable our customers to choose a wide variety of packages depending on their budgets and requirements.

So call GD Assist today for an appointment.

Hotline: 16457; +8801617666888. Email: gdal@green-delta.com

Website:  gdassist.com

Medical Tourism in India

All You Need to Know About Medical Tourism in India

German. French. Polish. English. Dutch. Chinese. Bangladeshi. Thai. African… You might be tempted to think that these are the various languages of the world. However, you’d be surprised to know that a typical large Indian hospital is a medical sanctuary of patients coming from all of these nationalities and more as they draw benefit from the significant medical value that India has to offer.

It has been estimated that one in three foreign patients in India is from Bangladesh, representing the highest pool of patients from abroad in India. The number of Bangladeshi patients visiting India for medical treatment purposes has grown sharply from 0.5 million in 2008 to as many as 1.13 million in 2015. Hence, this post is a valuable information bank for patients and their families visiting India, enabling them to understand the medical benefits offered by the country and derive the maximum benefit out of their visit.

India: A holistic medical value destination

Over the years, India has emerged as a world-class destination for medical value travel, pivoted on the three most essential factors that a patient seeks:

  • World-class hospital infrastructure
  • Acclaimed medical specialists and
  • Costs that are one-fifth to one-tenth of the prevalent costs

This, in brief, is the holistic medical and healthcare proposition offered by India. From the range of procedural and treatment options, quality of healing and curative therapies and skilled manpower to perform any medical procedure with minimal waiting period, the list of benefits of travelling for medical treatment to India are many, projecting the country as one of the world’s most preferred medical value destinations offering successful and seamless healthcare solutions. With such a comprehensive offering, the patient can be assured of being in safe and secure hands.

India, by virtue of adoption of cutting-edge technology, is focused on universalizing healthcare for patients, making medical procedures and therapies both accessible as well as affordable.

India: Robust and user-friendly healthcare facilities

India’s top-notch healthcare system is as good as the best in the world. The country sustains a robust accreditation system with a large number of accredited facilities – 275 such facilities are present in the country that match global healthcare infrastructure. India has 22 Joint Commission International (JCI)-accredited hospitals and compares well with other countries in Asia. This set of approved hospitals in India can provide cure and care at par or above global standards, ensuring what is the most important for a patient – peace-of-mind.

India’s world-class, globally-accredited and user-friendly healthcare facilities provide a warm and empathetic environment for patients to recover and heal.

India: At the forefront of medical technology

India is renowned for offering state-of-the-art medical technology to support diagnostics and other medical procedures that are employed by specialists. All recognized hospitals have invested comprehensively in operative, supportive as well as restorative technologies and processes. Complicated heart surgeries, cancer care and surgeries, neuro and even general surgeries, obstetrics and gynecology, nephrology, pediatrics and pediatric surgery, vascular surgery and plastic / reconstructive surgery, among others, all require high-end technology that is available in India, facilitating continual improvement in outcomes, minimizing complications, enabling faster recovery and reducing the length of hospital stay, which together have an overall impact on reducing costs. Moreover, advancements in robotic surgeries, radiation surgery or radio therapies with cyberknife stereotactic options, IMRT / IGRT, transplant support systems, advanced neuro and spinal options are all available in India. Additionally, medical specialists and other professionals are continually pushing the frontiers of medicine to extend patient propositions, ensuring that the healthcare practice in India remains at the cutting-edge of value.

India is at the confluence of holistic medical management practices on the one hand and the availability of acclaimed specialists on the other, representing the perfect value proposition for patients.

World-class medical experts and specialists

India’s hospitals with world-class facilities are complemented by skilled medical experts and specialists who work in tandem to provide the perfect healing touch to patients. The country possesses the largest pool of doctors and paramedics in South Asia, comprising as many as 1.2 million Allopathic doctors, 0.17 million dental surgeons and an army of over 2 million nurses. Many of the medical professionals in India have established their credentials around the world too. There are about 0.8 million formally-trained Ayurvedic doctors in the country. With a large number of doctors, there is a high level of competency and capability in the adoption of innovation and fresh treatment methods. India is also home to a number of other alternative medicine specialists who have expertise in techniques such as Sidha, Unani, Yoga, Acupuncture and Homeopathy, which are very popular among foreign patients. Such treatment opportunities give India the edge over competitors like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and the UAE.

India’s medical history spans thousands of years through Ayurvedic and alternate medicine forms. With such a strong legacy, the country’s healthcare system is at the forefront of the vibrant and dynamic medical industry.

Treatment economics and affordability

What is one of the top factors that a patient chooses before deciding on procedures and treatments? It is the cost of the treatment. India’s unmatched offering of quality treatment at an affordable cost comprises an unbeatable advantage that no patient can ignore. This unique coming together of the highest quality and cost advantage represents unparalleled benefits when it comes to major treatments such as for leukemia, where the difference in cost is 10 to 20 times. For other treatments, it could be anything from one-fifth to one-tenth of what is normally charged in Western countries and as much as 80 to 90% of treatment costs in other South Asian medical destinations. Also consider the fact that a heart bypass procedure costs roughly US$140,000 without any insurance in the US. The same procedure, however, costs one-twentieth at any one of India’s leading surgery centres. Moreover, procedures such as hip and knee replacement, face lift and gastric bypass are far more affordable in India, including the cost of travel and accommodation, compared to the US, or even other countries in Asia.

India’s medical value advantage is derived from the fact that the estimated 600,000 people who come into the country from other nations know that they can regain their health at a fraction of the cost. India’s socialist orientation makes it a nation focused on the welfare and wellbeing of the world.

Minimal waiting period

Quick attention for surgeries and interventions are assured in India. Getting an appointment for bypass surgery or a planned angioplasty in certain countries can take almost 3-6 months. And there, these treatments are costly too. India’s minimal, in several cases even zero, waiting time for any procedure, be it heart surgery, kidney care, cancer treatment, neuro-spinal procedures, knee / hip / joint replacements or other orthopedic treatments, dental, cosmetic surgeries and bariatric and weight loss surgeries and programs, etc.

India’s accredited hospitals are simple to access with a phone call or via an email. After understanding the patient’s case history, a medical specialist and his team will be made available for all consultations, etc, providing seamless services for the patient to be finally enrolled into the hospital.

Feeling the pulse of empathy

For greater understanding between patients and healthcare personnel, the warmth and hospitality of Indian hospitals is a top factor in choosing India as the most preferred healthcare destination. Among the key medical destinations of the world, India has the highest percentage of people who are fluent in English. The sense of care and empathy radiated by the industry can come to represent a big advantage in helping the patient heal faster.

India’s medical fraternity is focused on getting you – the patient – back on your feet in the quickest possible time and with the highest care. In India, truly, the patient can get well sooner!

Logistical advantages

India has several airports located all across the country, making access relatively easy. Most international airlines connect the world to India, including the country’s national carrier. It is also relatively easy to get a visa to visit India with a large number of the country’s embassies and consulates located all over the globe. India has also simplified the medical visa application process with the result that medical visas are issued in most cases in about two days. Additionally, several major Indian airports offer e-visas for patients travelling for healthcare purposes. Once in India, getting a mobile phone connection is easy too with the availability of pre-paid SIM cards with minimal documentation. Most major mobile phone operators have a desk / kiosk just after the customs. SIM recharge and top-ups can also be easily done.

So if you are a patient or if you are a family member of a patient, now is the time to act. You can either browse through the Net for details on hospitals in India or get in touch with specialized companies with strong credentials who can provide integrated services for your visit to India, including travel, visas and other logistical arrangements, hospital selection and doctor appointments, etc.

Best of luck and here’s wishing the patient to get well sooner!

Singapore: A modern healthcare tourism destination

The journey of a medical tourist visiting another country for treatment can be quite predictable. The hospital could be expectedly routine, the staff stiff-collared, the food unsurprising and the overall ambience? As anticipated, what else?

However, imagine an experience where you could shop for your favourite dress and accompanying nail-polish on your wireless tablet and have it delivered in an hour by your hospital bedside. Or the fact that you could order the choicest dessert post-recovery and have it given to you from the hospital’s state-of-the-art kitchen. Wouldn’t this be a memorable and ‘un-hospital-like’ experience?

Well then, welcome to Singapore, a modern high-tech healthcare tourism hub.

Singapore: At the cutting-edge of medical treatment

The medical tourism market is projected to be worth HK$114 billion in the Asia-Pacific economies within the next two to three years. With a rise in the burden of diseases meshed with growing medical complexities, a larger number of patients are now requiring highly complex surgeries and treatments and Singapore certainly has an edge in such specialist cases, reinforcing its status as a cutting-edge healthcare tourism destination.

Leveraging advanced healthcare technology by virtue of having a large specialist medical fraternity that possesses global experience through working in some of the world’s most renowned healthcare institutions, Singapore is credibly seen as having more experienced doctors and higher standards of sophisticated equipment. This has made medical tourism a highly successful concept in Singapore with international patients coming to the country for health screenings as well as for high-end surgical procedures in specialities like cardiology, neurology, oncology, obstetrics, gynaecology, ophthalmology, organ transplants, orthopaedics and paediatrics. Moreover, the country has expertise in advanced cancer treatment and major abdominal, blood vessel, bypass and minimally-invasive surgeries and robotic operations.

Hence, overseas patients are naturally gravitating to this nation, which is quickly emerging as a fulcrum for advanced healthcare.

Singapore: The emerging axis of experiential healthcare

The profile of the average medical tourists to Singapore has changed over the years in the sense that they no longer seek treatment only when they fall ill. There is a surge in medical tourists seeking preventive treatments or reversal of lifestyle-related ailments. For instance, they may come for routine colonoscopy and combine it with a few days of exploration, shopping and sightseeing.

Singapore is emerging as the axis for providing medical tourists with holistic experiential healthcare where the certainty of being looked after well goes beyond just healthcare. For instance, instead of just being treated with medication, patients are preferring medical services where they are respected and cared for.

Hospitals in Singapore are increasingly catering to these evolving expectations by providing hospital rooms and facilities that are more ‘hotel-like’ and doctors and other caregiver staff who can speak their own language. Singapore specialises in this ‘value-added’ treatment that focuses on wellness and encourages patients to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Singapore: Another word for ‘peace of mind’

The small island nation of Singapore, a multi-cultural society, is well-known for its stringent laws and regulations, particularly in areas involving cleanliness. These regulations are naturally carried over to the nation’s ultra-high quality levels in healthcare and world-class facilities, making it an ideal destination for medical travellers looking for modern infrastructure, a clean, safe and welcoming environment and English-speaking medical professionals. This is on top of an efficient transportation system, wide range of accommodation options and a large variety of leisure offerings to enhance the experience in Singapore.

Most hospitals and speciality centres in the nation cater to medical tourists and practically all of them offer high-quality healthcare. Most major hospitals in Singapore have international accreditations from the Joint Commission International (JCI), ISO or OHSAS. Besides, the Health Sciences Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Accreditation Council control and regulate the certification of medical devices and other health products.

In effect, Singapore is a highly urbanised, orderly and spotless country and hence, medical tourists can avoid the chaotic environment that is typical to some Asian countries. So if you are looking for peace-of-mind, Singapore is ready to welcome you.

Raffles Hospital: A top-grade international hospital

Though Singapore has a large number of hospitals, the one that stands out among the pack is Raffles Hospital.

Located conveniently at the heart of Singapore, Raffles Hospital is a full-service private hospital offering comprehensive specialist services combined with advanced medical technology. The hospital aims to maintain Singapore’s leadership as a regional healthcare hub by providing more complex procedures such as neuro-vascular interventional procedures, targeted cancer treatments, heart surgeries, orthopaedic surgeries and fertility treatments.

Patients are in safe hands when one considers the fact that the innovative Raffles Hospital Group Practice Model embraces a collaborative care approach and enables its medical specialists to offer team-based care that is especially important for patients who have multiple medical conditions and require the care of more than one doctor. As a team, specialists diagnose and treat patients efficiently. Concurrently, costs are kept low by not repeating consultations or examinations unnecessarily.

The fact that such top-class healthcare services, dispensed at Raffles Hospital, has not gone unnoticed among overseas medical tourists as more than 35 per cent of Raffles Hospital’s patients are foreigners, comprising nationals from more than 100 countries.

And yes, the team at Raffles Hospital can speak a plethora of languages – Bengali, Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesian, Malay, Russian, Vietnamese, Mongolian, Myanmar, Khmer, Korean, Arabic and Japanese. Hence, even if English is not your strong point, there should be no worries over communication. So if you are travelling to Singapore, you can very well expect to be greeted at a hospital with: “Aashun. Kemon aachen?”

Why are an increasing number of patients choosing Raffles Hospital?

Understanding how it feels to be ill and in a foreign land, Raffles Hospital has set up the Raffles International Patients Centre (Raffles IPC) to provide personalised care for international patients.

Raffles Hospital, JCI-accredited since 2008 and the largest integrated private healthcare provider in Singapore, offers 24-hour emergency services, family medicine services, health screenings and a wide range of multi-disciplinary specialist clinics. It is equipped with tastefully-appointed wards, day surgery centres, angiography suites, delivery suites, operating theatres, intensive care unit and neonatal intensive care unit. It also has its own radiology, clinical laboratory, pharmacy, dietetics, rehabilitation and traditional Chinese medicine departments.

With a view to providing a welcome divergence to patients in a bid to rejuvenate their post-treatment experience, in 2016, Raffles established Raffles Holland V, a healthcare, fitness and wellness mall that houses a curated list of tenants to provide unique dining, beauty, lifestyle and personal banking experiences. Moreover, the mall also houses Raffles Medical Centre-Holland V, a state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary medical centre that offers patients a whole host of medical facilities, including family medicine, health screening, dental, traditional Chinese medicine and other specialist services.

GDAssist, Bangladesh’s largest and most prominent healthcare tourism facilitator, provides comprehensive consultation and the widest range of packages to patients travelling to Singapore for medical treatment purposes. Through a strong healthcare network in Singapore, including with Raffles Hospital, GDAssist can assist patients to avail themselves of world-class treatment options as per their budgets and affordability. Moreover, as an integrated solutions provider, the company can take patients by the hand right through the journey and provide something that transcends service.

So, call GDAssist today. You could be on your way to Singapore for a world-class medical experience in the next few days.

Hotline: 16457; 01617666888. Email: gdal@green-delta.com

Website:  gdassist.com

The importance of being cancer-wise

The dreaded six-letter word is all the more feared because it is apparently invisible. Cancer can strike anybody, irrespective of gender, profession, ethnicity and class.

This article narrates the stories of Sarah and Borhan, geographically separated, and their fight against cancer like million others.

While revealing certain statistics on malignancy, readers will also find this post useful as it discusses the importance of cancer prevention.

“I’m really sorry but the mammogram has shown two tumours in the left breast,” said the doctor.

This is a true story of 42-year-old Sarah de-Guille.

The door handle of the hospital room in which Sarah was admitted started to turn. She knew this was the moment that could change her life forever.

The surgeon appeared with a paramedic staff. He started to go through Sarah’s notes comprising family history, the mammogram results and the biopsy and then delivered the devastating news:

“I’m really sorry but the mammogram has shown two tumours in the left breast.

Sarah felt like someone had kicked her in the stomach. She never thought she would be given the news that she had breast cancer. Until that moment, her life was pretty much perfect – she was a mother of a loving son, wife of a wonderful man and had a career she was passionate about.

The room blurred before her as tears welled up.

Sarah is among the growing number of women being diagnosed with breast cancer. In fact, breast cancer, at 24.3 per cent, is the second leading malignancy site among females with carcinoma cervix at the top at 24.6 per cent and lung cancer at 5.5 per cent and oral cancer at 4.1 per cent comprising the rest of the leading sites.

Borhan Quadi started to experience fatigue and occasional chest, neck and shoulder pain. To manage this, he started to have regular massages with a shot of Vitamin-B, believing that this would resolve his symptoms.

53-year-old Borhan, who was born in Bangladesh and moved to Australia almost two decades ago, is reasonably fit. He is married with two beautiful daughters and has been operating his own accounting practice.

Health and fitness is always important to him throughout his life, particularly since he managed the accounts of a healthcare service provider in Queensland.

Over the past two years, Borhan started to experience fatigue and occasional chest, neck and shoulder pain. To manage this, he started to have regular massages with a shot of Vitamin-B, believing that this would resolve his symptoms. However, upon the advice of a colleague, he took time out of his busy schedule and booked a doctor’s appointment to have his heart checked as he was still experiencing occasional chest pain.

After prolonged diagnosis, the doctor informed that Borhan had cancer in his left lung which was responsible for these combined symptoms.

Borhan is among the list of growing male patients suffering from lung cancer, which is the leading malignancy site in males at 24.7 per cent, followed by malignancy of unknown primary site at 18 per cent, larynx at 7.3 per cent and lymphatic organ malignancy at 7.3 per cent.

Together, Sarah and Borhan are among the growing number of cancer patients the world over with the majority of them, aged 40 to 60, with a profile showing that almost 56 per cent of cancer patients are male and the rest of the 44 per cent are female.

The burden of cancer on the society is growing every second. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has indicated that cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide with the number of new cancer cases expected to rise sharply to 22 million within the next two decades. It has also been estimated that more than 60 per cent of the world’s new cancer cases occur in Africa, Asia and Central and South America alone with as much as 70 per cent of the world’s cancer deaths also occurring in these regions.

Demographically, the top-10 malignancies among both the sexes are: lung (16.7 per cent), cervix (10.4 per cent), breast (10.3 per cent), unknown primary (6.2 per cent), lymph node and lymphatic (5.5 per cent), larynx (5.0 per cent), oesophagus (4.0 per cent), oral cavity (3.9 per cent), bones and cartilage (3.3 per cent) and stomach (3.1 per cent).

WHO estimates that cancer represents 13 per cent of all global deaths and lung cancer is by far the number one cancer-killer, making up as much as 14 per cent of all newly diagnosed cancers. It adds that annually, more patients die from lung cancer alone than prostate, breast and colon cancers combined (in the US). An average man’s lifetime risk of developing lung cancer is as high as 1 in 13; for a woman, the risk is 1 in 16 (US estimates). Importantly, these risk figures are for all adults including smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers. However, the risk for a regular smoker is dramatically higher. Cervix and breast cancer are among the other leading malignancies.

Hearteningly, there is an overwhelming global push towards becoming cancer-wise.

In the world of today, statistics are no longer considered to be merely numbers and trends; indeed, they are used as a decisive tool to raise awareness on cancer and also reach out to a wider population pool on the ways and means to preclude cancer. In effect, statistics on the top malignancies are being leveraged to ensure that communities and societies become cancer-wise and, eventually, cancer-free.

Though in many cases, what is known about cancer prevention is still evolving, it is a well-accepted fact that one’s chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyles. So if you are concerned about cancer prevention, take comfort in the fact that some simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference, illustrated through some valuable cancer preclusion tips.

  • Don’t consume tobacco

Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancers, including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney. Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to second-hand smoke may increase your risk of lung cancer. Importantly, deciding to stop using tobacco is one of the most important health decisions you can make.

  • Eat healthy diet

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and other foods from plant sources, such as whole grains and beans. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-calorie foods, including refined sugars and fat from animal sources.

If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancers — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.

  • Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active

Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancers, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.

Physical activity counts too. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine — and if you can do more, even better.

  • Get immunised

Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections and it is important to get immunisation against Hepatitis-B that can increase the risk of developing liver cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a sexually-transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers.

  • Get regular medical care

Regular self-examination and screening for various types of cancers —skin, colon, cervix and breast cancer — can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful.

With rising cases of all types of cancer malignancy reflected in the statistics, it is most critical to engage in regular screening for prevention or subsequent cure.

As one of the most reputed healthcare facilitation service providers in Bangladesh, GDAssist is a brand that patients have come to trust. The company provides end-to-end services for cancer patients travelling outside of Bangladesh for treatment. Having facilitated the travel of as many as 4.0 per cent of its total patients for cancer treatment abroad, the company’s solutions comprises time-bound visa, ticketing and insurance; specialised logistical arrangements; hospital selection and doctor appointments and high levels of flexibility in terms of customising the package as per patient budget and affordability.

Cancer is a lethal disease and for seeking treatment abroad, speak with GDAssist today.

Hotline: 16457; 01617666888. Email: gdal@green-delta.com

Website:  gdassist.com