Sweat pays off as skin doctor wins top healthcare award

Dr Tey Hong Liang from the National Skin Centre is one of eight winners of the National Healthcare Group (NHG) Outstanding Citizenship award.
Dr Tey Hong Liang from the National Skin Centre is one of eight winners of the National Healthcare Group (NHG) Outstanding Citizenship award.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - 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 here.

The senior consultant there is one of eight winners of the National Healthcare Group (NHG) Outstanding Citizenship award.

The annual NHG Awards, which were started in 2001, was held at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital on Friday (May 11), with 35 individuals and 13 teams recognised for their contributions to healthcare in Singapore.

"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, Madam Kay Kuok.

Dr Tey started the first "itch clinic" outside Europe in Singapore in 2011. He also began a clinical service for patients with disorders of deficient sweating in 2014 - 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 itch 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).

Professor Teoh was the first hand surgeon in Singapore and headed the first department of hand surgery here at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) 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, with more than 30 years of experience at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

She helps seniors with mental health disorders to live independently, and initiated the graduate diploma in mental health, which seeks to equip general practitioners with the skills to identify and manage such conditions at the community level.

The second recipient was associate professor Brenda Ang, who has helped in the control of outbreaks in Singapore including that of Sars in 2003 and H1N1 in 2009.