Sweat pays off as skin doctor wins top healthcare award

Orthopaedic surgery specialist Teoh Lam Chuan (left) received the Lee Foundation's NHG Lifetime Achievement award and dermatologist Tey Hong Liang won the NHG Outstanding Citizenship award.
Orthopaedic surgery specialist Teoh Lam Chuan (left) received the Lee Foundation's NHG Lifetime Achievement award and dermatologist Tey Hong Liang won the NHG Outstanding Citizenship award.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Patients who suffer heatstroke due to a deficiency in their body's sweat mechanism now have a better chance of being treated than they would a few years ago.

Thanks to the work of Dr Tey Hong Liang at the National Skin Centre, there is greater confidence in providing diagnosis and treatment for this condition.

Dr Tey, a senior consultant dermatologist, is one of eight winners of the National Healthcare Group (NHG) Outstanding Citizenship award.

The annual NHG Awards, which started in 2001, were given out yesterday at a ceremony at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, with 35 individuals and 13 teams recognised for their contributions to healthcare.

"Their dedication in providing high-quality care and services, and by going the extra mile, has improved the lives of those in their care," said NHG chairman Kay Kuok.

Dr Tey started the first "itch clinic" outside Europe in Singapore in 2011. In 2014, he began a clinical service for patients with disorders of deficient sweating - the first such specialised service worldwide. He added that these services are especially important in Singapore due to the hot and humid weather, which causes itching and sweat problems.

"I'm thankful for the recognition, but what's more important and gratifying is to see the improvement in clinical practice - that our work actually translates into positive outcomes," said Dr Tey.

The recipient of the Lee Foundation's NHG Lifetime Achievement award was Associate Professor Teoh Lam Chuan, an orthopaedic surgery specialist in hand and microsurgery at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).

Prof Teoh was the first hand surgeon in Singapore and headed the first department of hand surgery here at the Singapore General Hospital in 1985.

The Distinguished Senior Clinician award was presented to two veteran doctors for their contributions in clinical, education and research practice.

One is clinical Associate Professor Chiam Peak Chiang, who has more than 30 years of experience at the Institute of Mental Health.

She helps seniors with mental health disorders live independently and initiated the graduate diploma in mental health.

The second recipient was Associate Professor Brenda Ang, a senior consultant at the department of infectious diseases at TTSH, who has helped in the control of outbreaks here, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) in 2003 and H1N1 in 2009.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2018, with the headline 'Sweat pays off as skin doctor wins top healthcare award'. Print Edition | Subscribe