Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Forum: Is health of public transport drivers vetted thoroughly? - updated with reply from LTA

Image for illustration only

It was reported that a 72-year-old taxi driver lost consciousness when a previously undiagnosed tumour in his liver ruptured while he was driving, resulting in a serious accident and one death (Ruptured liver tumour caused cabby to black out, Sept 20).

It appears to me that many - if not most - taxi drivers are middle-aged or elderly, and perhaps a significant number of those who drive public buses and Grab vehicles are, as well.

In view of Singapore's rapidly ageing population, with more people continuing to work into their 70s, do our public transportation agencies provide comprehensive health-screening for new employees in the aforementioned positions?

If yes, what conditions - for example, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac and neurological conditions, visual problems and cancer - are included?

If job applicants have pre-existing medical conditions, how are they certified fit for driving, especially for shifts that may be up to 12 hours a day?

Also, how often do older drivers go for mandatory medical check-ups? Do these include a proper physical examination or only a perfunctory one?

In addition, are drivers clearly advised to stop their vehicles if they feel unwell, and to seek medical attention immediately? Or do they avoid doing so out of fear of not meeting quotas or key performance indicators, or punitive measures from the companies they work for?

There are about 41,000 and 100,000 holders of the Private-Hire Car Driver's Vocational Licence and Taxi Driver's Vocational Licence respectively.

The health of these drivers is of great concern not just to their passengers, but to pedestrians and other road users as well.

I hope the relevant agencies (including private-hire companies) will provide this information and ensure that adequate safeguards are in place.

Oh Jen Jen (Dr)

Ref: http://str.sg/JJdL

Reply from LTA: Public transport drivers undergo regular health checks

Exceptional people: Singapore para-archer Nur Syahidah Alim clinches world No. 1 ranking

Singapore para-archer Nur Syahidah Alim followed up her world championship triumph four months ago by reaching another summit.

The 34-year-old has topped the world ranking for the women's compound open individual category with 195.2 points, 1.4 points ahead of Britain's second-placed Jessica Stretton, whom she had beaten at the World Para Archery Championships in June.

Russia's Stepanida Artakhinova, who was top in the last round of the monthly rankings, has dropped to third with 190 points.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/sports/others/singapore-para-archer-nur-syahidah-alim-clinches-world-no-1-ranking

Exceptional people: Singapore fencer Amita Berthier, 18, wins gold in senior satellite tourney

Singapore's Amita Berthier (second from left) had beaten Italy's Elena Tangherlini (first from left) in the final. With them are Poland's Marta Lyczbinska (second from right) and Julia Walczyk. Source: tnp

Fencer Amita Berthier added another feather to her cap by winning gold at the Trekantan International in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Monday morning (Oct 7, Singapore time).

This makes her only the second Singaporean to clinch a senior satellite tournament on the International Fencing Federation (FIE) circuit.

In the final, Berthier emerged triumphant against Italy's Elena Tangherlini 15-9 to gain four FIE points in her quest to qualify for next year's Tokyo Olympics.

Berthier is the first Singaporean to win a senior satellite competition in the Tokyo 2020 qualifying period, which ends in April 2020. Nicole Wong was the first to win a senior satellite in Turkey in December 2014

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/sports/others/singapore-fencer-amita-berthier-18-wins-gold-senior-satellite-tourney

Protect yourself from eThrombosis


As Singaporeans continue to spend more time on their electronic devices, the prolonged and excessive use of computers could trigger eThrombosis.

The term is used to describe venous thromboembolism (VTE), associated with immobility from sitting for hours on end in front of one's screens, like watching television on streaming media services or playing video games.

These people may face the risk of VTE, which occurs when an abnormal blood clot forms within a deep vein of the patient's lower limbs (known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT). The clot can easily travel to the lungs (known as pulmonary embolism) if it is left unnoticed and untreated. This can prove to be fatal as it restricts blood supply to the lungs.

But prolonged immobilisation can easily be prevented by periodically getting up from a sitting position to standing, stretch and move around.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/protect-yourself-ethrombosis