Podiatry Day 2020
Message by Marabelle Heng
President, Podiatry Association Singapore
Commemorating Podiatry Day amid a Crisis
Every year, podiatrists in Singapore celebrate Podiatry Day on 21 April. Usually, the day is commemorated through events, roadshows and media interviews. This year, we mark Podiatry Day amid a pandemic and Circuit Breaker.
Role of podiatrists and allied health professionals in current outbreak
Groups of podiatrists and podiatry assistants have been deployed to assist with outbreak responses such as swab testing for COVID, screening and crisis command centre taskforce.
Some stayed behind in hospitals and polyclinics to hold the fort and run essential podiatry services such as diabetic foot ulcer treatment, acute bleeding ingrown nail and progressive foot deformities.
As Podiatry has been listed under ‘non-essential services’ for the circuit breaker period, there is also a group of private practice clinicians who have been making appeals to the Ministry of Trade & Industry daily on case-by-case basis to be able to continue to provide treatment to patients who require timely intervention. This helps to offload the main lines of GPs and A&Es by keeping patients well so that the patients do not need to escalate for further medical treatment. This is our part to play in warring against Covid-19.
We stand in solidarity with our fellow allied health colleagues, such as psychologists and physiotherapists, who have also expressed similar challenges of listing our services as wholly non-essential.
Historically, allied health professionals have always been an integral part of healthcare. After World War II, there was a surge in demand for healthcare and the need to develop capacity for medical services outside of hospitals. It resulted in initiatives to strengthen the health workforce capacities to deliver essential healthcare services collaboratively alongside nurses and doctors. The need led to the birth of Allied Health Professionals (AHPs). AHPs are a distinct group of health professionals who apply their expertise to prevent disease progression, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate patients, intervening to restore and maintain optimal functions.
Podiatrists are skilled in hands-on procedures and techniques such as injection, swabbing, scalpel handling, aseptic procedures and infection control, and are able and ready to assist doctors to help in frontline crisis work such as in current times or be a helping hand in the overwhelmed wards.
A shout-out to podiatry students
As podiatry is not an available course of study locally, a podiatry student’s training is based overseas. It is also timely to give a warm shout out to our students, many of whom are back with us in Singapore during this period (MFA recall of overseas Singaporean students). Thank you for rallying your encouragement and support to your seniors. At the same time, your worries about disruption to your education did not go unnoticed. We are here for you, to facilitate arrangements for your offshore clinical placement training where possible with the relevant parties. There are students who enquired about volunteering work in frontlines. We salute your courage and selflessness.
To our patients & public
To fellow Singaporeans, stay safe and stay home!
If you require podiatry services at this time, please contact your clinic or check out our listing http://www.podiatry.org.sg/members/
A podiatrist will assess your needs via phone or telehealth triaging. If you are assessed to require urgent care, we will do our best to obtain the necessary approval from authorities to provide the timely treatment that you require during this circuit breaker period. We advocate essential foot health services to keep you safe and maintain your health & wellbeing.
Visit Podiatry Association – Singapore facebook page to leave a message of encouragement and support as we mark Podiatry Day, 21 April 2020.
To fellow colleagues
Stay safe everyone!
And Happy Podiatry Day to all podiatrists!
Simulation of Healthcare Education (USA), History of Allied Health Professionals
The New Paper, 13 April 2020, Mental health practitioners disappointed by ‘non-essential’ status of psychological treatment. Retrieved from: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/non-essential-status-psychological-treatment-blow-psychologists
The Straits Times, 17 April 2020, Some TCM patients struggle without acupuncture, tui na during coronavirus circuit breaker period. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/some-tcm-patients-struggle-without-acupuncture-tui-na?fbclid=IwAR1JA1H7MKOOCoQtL6fcWFRxgq7ukJmhmMOu2QQsSp-sS7Sf6rELlV1J1xY
The Straits Times, 20 April 2020, Forum: Suspension of physiotherapy treatment may be detrimental for some patients. Retrieved from: https://www.straitstimes.com/forum/forum-suspension-of-physiotherapy-treatment-may-be-detrimental-for-some-patients
Ministry of Health, Continuation of Essential Healthcare Services During Period of Heightened Safe Distancing Measures, 4 April 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/continuation-of-essential-healthcare-services-during-period-of-heightened-safe-distancing-measures
Ministry of Health, Continuation of Essential Healthcare Services During Period of Heightened Safe Distancing Measures, Annex A, 4 April 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.moh.gov.sg/docs/librariesprovider5/pressroom/press-releases/annex-a3685da33172d4ed08bb310ec24a440f8.pdf