18 January, Singapore – The Public Relation Bureau of IIUM Pharmacy Association (IPhA) organised an Educational Trip to Singapore 2013. Program was managed by Mohammad Nasrin Rx10, and advised by Dr Hadijah Shamsudin. Alhamdulillah, the program went well trough out the journey. Basically this Singapore Educational trip emphasized on “Edutainment glee” basis, where learning and having holiday is integrated. This trip was joined by 40 students consist of each year of pharmacy students. Rx8, Rx9, Rx10, and Rx11. The duration was about 3 days, where within this period, they went to National University Of Singapore (NUS), National Univerisity Hospital, Singapore (NUH), and 2 branches of partial government shared Chain Pharmacy in Singapore, which is UNITY Pharmacy.
Basically, they had a mini attachment at the Hospital, and learned the pharmacy management system there. According to one of the participants, yes, the system used by their hospital is obviously different from Malaysian where everything related to medication is computerised, even the packaging of the medication is using so called “dispensing machine”. They don’t use much manual human dispensing, but they used robotics, machines, and computer system to do some of the dispensing. The purpose of using this high tech pharmacy management system is because they want to reduce the adverse drug reaction problem (ADR) using exact and clear medication system without any error, and yes, their ADR problem have been decreased by year according to the statistics.
The visit to National University of Singapore, specifically the department of Pharmacy, is as well an astonishing visit. The campus of NUS is really a great campus zone environment where everybody is walking, and less is using car or motorcycles. Eventually, it creates a real university environment and atmosphere. The Department of Pharmacy basically is one of the family of faculty of Science. According to one of the participants interviewed, the facilities was great, and the education system in this university is good as well. However, according to the advisor, Dr Hadijah, the pharmacy course here in Singapore is also a tough one, and that shows no matter where you are, pharmacy is a tough course, not only in IIUM. They had a campus tour around NUS using the university Bus for free of charge, and went to International university town where they managed to have a look around on the modern campus accommodation infrastructure.
The participants also divided to 2 groups where each group went to one of the Unity pharmacy chain in Singapore. Basically, there is no individual pharmacy in Singapore, instead, all the community pharmacy is managed by big companies like guardian, Watson, and Unity chains. The reason is because they want to get the medication supplies systematically, and at very cheap price when they could buy in bulk of all the medication from the suppliers. Each pharmacy chain has their own pharmacist working in, and these pharmacy chains really sell prescription medications. During the visit, they had thorough interviews with the pharmacist, and a lot of information exchange was shared between IIUM students and the pharmacist.
After all, this visit also consist of holiday part where students were brought by the tour guide to walk around the Singapore city using bus and by foot. Some of the students went to USS, some went to have city tour to explore how people live here in Singapore. One of the fact that they learnt is that, in Singapore, everyone is really proactive, everything move very fast, all sharp in time, no delays even a minutes, all are very active, and no lazy or slow behaviour. Maybe that is the reason why Singapore could develop very fast. Plus, here in Singapore, there is a lot of immigrants from all over the world. There is a lot kind of people and maybe that is why it is so called a transit country of the world. Singapore is a transit for the ships, airplanes, and many more. The water piping system in Singapore is very clean, and we can drink directly from pipe without the need to boil or filter them. Some portion of the country water supply is recycled water (from all the used water), and they recycled it thoroughly using a lot of phases to make it 100% clean. Then they reused the water. This water system is managed by ‘NEWater’ of Singapore.
Basically, a lot of things were learnt by the participants of this trip, and it really helps everyone to gain knowledge about this small but yet, great and well developed country. Malaysia of course can be even more greatly well developed if everyone is even more proactive and discipline as well inshaAllah.