Armed forces need the latest in medical services

2:22:00 AM

MODERN medical and healthcare services, managed by trained experts, are a must for military people worldwide, said the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah.

He said complete and up-to-date medical support services can provide psychological comfort to military personnel in war zones.

“History has proved that military medicine can change the direction of war.

“War commanders who understand the importance of military medicine and ensure its modernisation in terms of equipment or specialist manpower will gain considerably from it,” he said when opening the 2017 Malaysian Military Medical Conference at Wisma Perwira, in Kuala Lumpur today.

Sultan Nazrin, who is also Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Medical Corps, said developed countries have a healthy budget to develop, modernise and train their respective military medical teams besides giving high priority to military medicine.

He said military medicine also saw various discoveries made solely to save war victims on a large scale and to save and treat victims severely wounded in combat.

“On the one hand weapons producers continue to invent destructive weapons while on the other hand, military medical practitioners must study, pioneer and produce formulae to save lives and treat soldiers and members of the public injured by these new destructive weapons,” the Sultan said.

Sultan Nazrin also said the field of military medicine was a different kind of expertise.

The military medical experience pioneered several branches of medicines such as orthopaedics, plastic surgery, neurological surgery, prosthetics and rehabilitative medicine. These were later transferred to public medicine.

"Military medical advances have raised the rate of survival in war. Advances in medical evacuation, battlefield medicine and trauma care have saved many lives during the war,” he said.

Referring to the inaugural medical conference, held in conjunction with the 50th-anniversary celebration of the establishment of the Royal Medical Corps, Sultan Nazrin said it was relevant as it discussed various current health and medical issues.

His Royal Highness said among the major health issues that must be given attention to were non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart attacks, ailments related to breathing and the lungs, which were on the rise.

"Some 60% to 70% of fatalities in Southeast Asia currently are caused by NCD, up 40% from the data in 1990. In Malaysia, it was estimated that in the year 2015, 73% of fatalities were due to NCD compared with only 40% in 1990,” he added.

Urbanisation brought with it various risks such as work pressure, stress, pollution, smoking, unhealthy and unbalanced diet. These caused diabetes and obesity to be on the rise.

He urged the Royal Medical Corps to draw up a health programme which included preventive measures to ensure that military personnel and members of their family adopted a healthy lifestyle.

Also present at the event was the Acting Armed Forces Chief who is also Air Force Chief Gen Affendi Buang. – Bernama, September 6, 2017.


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