Singapore opens new medical aviation centre

Changi General Hospital Singapore June 2007
Changi General Hospital, Singapore. Photo taken in June 2007, Wikimedia Comms.

A new medical aviation centre for pilots, air traffic controllers and ground support staff has opened at the Changi General Hospital in Singapore.

The Changi Aviation Medicine Centre (CAMC) is Singapore’s first aviation centre to be established within a government structured hospital. Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Dr Lam Pin Min said that the CAMC is part of the region’s plans to provide better support for aviation professionals in line with anticipated traffic growth.

Brian See, Director of CAMC, explained that aviation professionals can suffer from various stresses as a result of their job: "Whilst pilots are like any other persons, their job also takes them to unusual and physiological stressors in the flying environment such as hypoxia, pressure changes in the body." See added that the CAMC is working with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore will ensure that these professionals can go back to their duties.

Singapore map
Changi General Hospital is located in eastern Singapore, in Simei, near Singapore Changi Airport.

CAMC also provides medical examinations such as the Maddox Wing test – a handheld instrument that allows a quick and efficient testing for heterophoria in the patient – crucial for pilots, who rely on peripheral vision.

In light of the recent incident in which Singapore Airlines being forced to cancel a flight due to a pilot failing an alcohol test, the Collaborative Health Achievement and Motivation Programme (CHAMP) was developed by CAMC in order to address alcohol use disorder in the community. Dr Lam added: "CHAMP offers aviators a highly customised and supportive programme involving the multidisciplinary expertise of a healthcare team comprising aviation medicine specialists, psychiatrists, counsellors, medical social workers and psychologists to achieve the best rehabilitation outcome."

"CAMC will be able to provide holistic medical care to our aviation professionals, which will, in turn, benefit companies and the aviation system as a whole," concluded Dr Lam.