There are over 7 Billion people in 193 countries and an innumerable number of cultural and social practices across the globe. As these numbers continue to grow, the need for personalised medical care that accommodates the socio-cultural preferences of patients will only continue to swell.
How do these changes affect healthcare?
Restrictions such as dietary limitations, prohibitions against blood transfusion or physical contact, and customs such as toileting or washing practices may require making adjustments to the medication or treatment offered to patients.
What does this mean for Podiatrists?
As podiatry is a nascent field of healthcare in Singapore, patients have limited options when seeking out a podiatrist for their lower extremity care needs. As healthcare providers, we believe that understanding our patients’ socio-cultural needs is integral to providing them with the most optimal patient experience. For example, some patients may feel uncomfortable with being treated by a clinician of the opposite gender. This poses challenges for treatment at our clinics, as clinical assessment and treatment require patients to reveal their lower limbs as well as receive a hands-on examination from their podiatrist.
Being mindful of the needs of others must start from within, and East Coast Podiatry has done so by creating an inclusive and multicultural team from a multitude of sociocultural backgrounds. This team is excited to have created an environment that is conducive to understanding and catering to the needs and preferences of our patients.
“Many of our Muslim patients prefer consultation and treatment by members of the same gender who also keenly understand the level of privacy needed during a visit. Their concerns are very real to me as I share the same faith and empathise with their point of view.” – Ms. Afnan, a podiatrist who moved from Oman to Singapore.
“The treatment spaces at our clinics are designed to provide patients with the option to receive discrete treatment in comfort. Families undergoing consultation and treatment are able to feel at ease, knowing that everything is being done to ensure that their needs are met. We aim to accommodate all our patients’ needs and requirements. We are ready to make the adjustments necessary to provide a comfortable and pleasant experience to each of our patients.” – Mr. Sani, a UK-trained Bruneian podiatrist.
Ms. Ari Dzulkifle is a Bruneian Podiatrist currently based full-time at East Coast Podiatry, Kembangan branch. She received her specialized training in podiatric medicine from Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK, and currently serves as a Senior Podiatrist at the practice. Ms. Dzulkifle has over 13 years’ experience in paediatric, geriatric, and diabetic foot management after serving as the deputy head of department at Brunei’s Main Hospital, where she was one of the four pioneer podiatrists. During that time, she helped advance the profession and practice of podiatry in Brunei.