On Assignment
A Stronger, Healthier Home Team
How healthier Home Team officers contribute to a safer and more secure Singapore.

It takes a strong constitution to witness a needle being plunged into an arm, never mind that vaccinations are a necessary safeguard against all manner of nasty diseases. But seeing this happen 90 times over is something else entirely.

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Focus on health: New SCDF trainees receive screenings, vaccinations and treatment to ensure their medical health is attended to. PHOTO: Desmond Ang

It was a Wednesday morning at the Civil Defence Academy, and we were here to see how the Home Team is making sure its officers are better prepared for their operational roles. The vaccinations proceeded briskly, with trained medical personnel administering the injections to Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) trainees.

Leading the effort to make our officers stronger and healthier is the Home Team Medical Services Division (HTMSD). Established in 2017, the HTMSD has rolled out a series of initiatives to raise health standards across the Home Team. Here are just three ways that Home Team officers are getting pumped up!

1. Standardised Vaccination Services
In July 2018, the Home Team partnered with leading healthcare services providers Parkway Shenton and Hope Ambulance to offer medical services to our officers.

Among these services are vaccinations against a range of infectious diseases such as Tetanus, Flu, MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella), Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, with inoculations based on an officer’s medical history and operational requirements. Vaccinations are also tracked via individual health records. When the next dose is due, officers can have it administered at any Home Team Medical Centre.

2. Enhanced Medical Centres and Capabilities
Speaking of our Medical Centres, in 2018, they underwent improvement works that upgraded facilities and saw new lifesaving equipment and systems being introduced, with physiotherapy sessions made available as well.

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Med upgrade: Home Team Medical Centres now feature an improved emergency trolley that includes the LIFEPAK 15 monitor/defibrillator. PHOTO: Desmond Ang

Medical professionals from Parkway Shenton are on hand to provide medical treatment and advice, with a senior medic working with them on-site to ensure smooth service delivery. This allows Home Team medical officers and medics who were previously posted to Medical Centres to be re-deployed to frontline operations

3. Raised Medical Preparedness and Response
To ensure that the provision of medical care in the Home Team adheres to recognised standards, the HTMSD team (together with SCDF medical officers) regularly assess the operational readiness of the Parkway Shenton and Hope Ambulance medical teams.

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Regular check-ups: Quarterly audits are conducted to ensure that medical personnel at our Medical Centres are ready to respond to emergencies. PHOTOS: Janani Sivalingam

At a recent assessment coordinated by the Home Team Academy’s (HTA) Training Safety and Audit Branch, we saw HTA Medical Centre personnel being tested on their responsiveness and medical knowledge.

Alerted to a simulated emergency, they arrived at the incident site and swiftly stabilised the patient before transporting him to the Medical Centre. There, the patient received further treatment under the direction of the doctor. To conclude the afternoon, all involved – medical personnel, auditors and patient – came together to discuss the simulation and share key learning points.

The HTMSD is working on other initiatives to raise standards of medical care for Home Team officers. These include measures to enhance occupational safety and health for various vocations. Stay tuned as we bring you more!
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Ashley Tuen
  2. 26 June 2019
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