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Fri, May 14, 2010
The New Paper
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Women, empower yourselves
by Geneve Yeo

FEELING the pinch from rising health-care costs?

The Singapore Council Of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) and the Singapore PainCare Centre are offering some help.

The SCWO is organising the Women’s Health Day, where participants can enjoy subsidised health checks, while the PainCare Centre is conducting a forum where a handful of needy patients suffering from back pain get treatment for free.

Said Dr Ann Tan, president of SCWO: “We run various events from time to time to demonstrate our interest and concern for women’s issues.

“Women’s health has always been an area of concern for myself and the Association of Women Doctors Singapore (AWDS), which is helping to co-organise this.”

For Dr Bernard Lee, founder and director of the Singapore PainCare Centre, it’s simply about doing his part for society.

He said: “It’s to give back to society and benefit the poor and needy. People who suffer from back pain may not have the means to afford new treatment methods. These minimally invasive pain procedures are often seen as ‘premium treatments’.”

He also wants to increase the awareness among the public of new ways of treating back problems that are safe and minimally invasive without need for down time and the risk of complications.

The first 10 women to register for Women’s Health Day on May 22 through the organiser’s website will get cervical cancer vaccinations and pap smear tests at reduced rates.

The event will be held at the SCWO Centre at Waterloo Street.

For these early birds, a cervical cancer vaccination will cost $300 and a pap smear will cost $5. A cervical cancer vaccination usually costs $630 and a pap smear costs between $35 and $55.

A spokesman for SCWO said that the Women’s Health Day is their way of empowering women by educating them about their own health.

She said that some women don’t care as much about their own health as compared to their family’s health and they want to change that.

Target group

Targeted at women aged from 20 to 60, the Women’s Health Day features talks by volunteers from AWDS on various topics, as well as free health check-ups.

Dr Tan said: “The free checks are targeted at women who we feel are worried to go for checks simply because they can ill afford it.”

Registration costs $10 and closes on May 17.

The free health check-ups available during the Health Day include eye screenings, hypocount (blood sugar) testing, bone density testing and Body Mass Index (BMI) testing.

The public forum on different approaches to low back pain treatment, conducted by Singapore PainCare Centre and Mount Alvernia Hospital, will be held on May 29.
Registration is free.

Dr Lee said that 10 patients will be selected and scheduled for minimally invasive pain management procedures in June at the Mount Alvernia hospital.

They do not have to pay for the procedures.

He said that the usual cost of such procedures range from $5,000 to $9,000.

To qualify, a person’s family income should be lower than $1,500.

Dr Lee said: “If this project is workable, it will be organised on a regular basis and more patients may be included in the future.”

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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