Screening expedited for patients who suspect breast lumps

National 1 minute, 49 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Ministry of Health has initiated a programme that aims to shorten the time in getting a doctor to check patients who suspect they have a breast lump.

Health Minister Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Dr Hj Zulkarnain Hj Hanafi said the government wants to make sure that if it is a diagnosis of something important, it gets attended to within a certain period.

“If a lady goes to see a general practitioner (GP) and says she feels something hard in her breast, that doctor will make sure the patient will be seen within two weeks,” he said in a recent interview with The Brunei Times.

The minister said they are currently prioritising how to work closely with GPs to ensure there is a seamless management of patients when the Brunei Cancer Centre is operational.

YB Dato Dr Zulkarnain said cancer has overtaken heart disease as the number one killer over the past three to four years.

The ministry has begun increasing screenings for breast cancer, and pap smears for cervical cancer.

YB Dato Dr Zulkarnain said they are also making sure patients are attended to quickly during screenings.

“What is the point of running a screening programme when you do not even know what to do when you diagnose them?” the minister said.

A previous report said the incidence of breast cancer has been the highest number among other types of cancer in Brunei.

From 2004 to 2013, a total of 542 women were found suffering from breast cancer and 120 people have died from the disease.

Another area the ministry is looking into is the role of community health centres in following up with stroke patients who have been discharged from hospitals.

The minister said they are aspiring to have this seamless service right from tertiary, secondary, primary healthcare, as well as the community in terms of health promotion and prevention.

“So for the next five years, we are going to focus on three critical things - to ensure we make health everyone’s business in everything we do, control and prevent non-communicable diseases and ensure we provide the best services through consolidation and realignment of our services,” the minister added.

The Brunei Times