Our Diabetic Foot Specialist Team
BSc. Hons. Salford (UK)
Member of U.K. Healthcare Professions Council and Podiatry Association of Singapore
From: England, United Kingdom
Spoken Languages: English
Georgina Callaghan-Tay formally served as a Podiatrist at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), one of the largest and busiest public Podiatry service in a local hospital, her everyday clinic consists of treating extensive wound care cases and high-risk patients. Georgina then served in the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics focusing on primary health care, handling a range of low risk and high risk diabetic patients, preventing low risk patients from becoming high risk.
In SGH Georgina’s daily clinical cases ranging from basic routine care to immediate emergency cases, Georgina estimates that around 80-90% of all the cases she saw in SGH were high risk and or high-risk diabetic.
Having had clinical experience in the UK National Health Service and Singapore, Georgina recognized that high-risk patients often do not heal in a timely fashion, suffering recurrent infections resulting in subsequent amputations of the lower limbs. With limited treatment options and limited allocated time to treat the complexities of high-risk conditions, results are often poor and recovery time slow.
Throughout her career in the public and private sector, Georgina has always actively promoted diabetic foot care, participating in and organizing community diabetic foot screenings as well as talks to encourage diabetic foot care awareness.
Singapore Diabetic Foot Centre is founded on the belief that Podiatrists can do much more towards diabetic foot care by raising clinical standards. Podiatrists are specialized in healing chronic ulcerations, many of whom are facing amputation.
Georgina and her team share a vision of a world-class diabetic foot care service is one that is fully equipped with advanced medical technology and a clinical protocol that ensures patients are allocated ample amount of time for thorough consultation, diagnosis and execution of needed treatments.
Georgina’s belief is that Education, Advance Treatment Methods, Ample Time for Treatment and Diabetic Foot Specialised Podiatrists are key to reducing diabetic foot amputations, thus contributing to winning the War on Diabetes in Singapore.
Ari Tria Dzulkifle
BSc. Hons. Cardiff (UK)
Member of the U.K. Healthcare Professions Council and SCPOD
Spoken Languages: English, Malay
Ari Tria Dzulkifle received her Podiatric training from Cardiff Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, and since her undergraduate years, she developed an interest in Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and the intricate care that goes into managing people with diabetic conditions. Diabetes and its complications is a huge problem around the world, including in her beloved country, Brunei.
In Ari’s years of experience, she noted that the key to timely recovery is the referral pathway to the appropriate care. A broken referral pathway can quickly accelerate DM foot complications, referral to a Podiatrist who specialises in foot problems is an important step at the primary care stage.
A Podiatrist’s primary role in frontline service is to provide diabetic foot care education and conduct treatment so as to avoid the need for limb amputations. Education is a key, and early detection of high-risk conditions dramatically reduces the chances of DM foot complication.
Diabetic foot ulcer cases were always the department’s biggest challenge during her services at RIPAS hospital, Brunei. As a passionate podiatrist, Ari used education has her main tool in combating diabetes. Ari gave talks in the community including at health centres and on television and radio. In Brunei, Ari also fills her role as an educator lecturing at post-graduate Masters programme where medical doctors and nurses attended. Majority of her lectures focused on the early detection of risk of ulceration amongst people with diabetes as well as up to date methods of managing the complicated chronic condition.
With the support of general practitioners and nurses, Ari furthered the fight against diabetes in Brunei with starting a Community Podiatry service at several health centres. The objective of the service was to detect ‘Diabetic Foot At Risk’ to prevent diabetic foot amputations amongst the Bruneian. Ari implemented guidelines and clinical protocols that contributed towards the improvement of referral pathway and service delivery for diabetic foot care in Brunei.
Ari continues her postgraduate professional development courses in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Thailand. She also actively involves in the annual World diabetes day program organised by Diabetes Centre Brunei.
Ari continues her long career as a diabetic foot specialist in private practice based in Singapore, she is a proud co-pioneer of the Singapore Diabetic Foot Centre, employing advanced and up-to-date treatment methods in the management of diabetic foot pathologies.
Abdullah Sani Kamis
MFPM RCPS (Glasg), MSc (UK), BSc (Hons) (UK)
Member of U.K. Healthcare Professions Council, Podiatry Association of Singapore and
Member of Faculty of Podiatric Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow)
Spoken Languages: English, Malay, Bahasa Indonesia, Tagalog
Prior to joining the Acute Care team of podiatrists at the Singapore Diabetic Foot Centre, Sani Kamis dedicated a number of years in academia researching the high-risk foot. High-risk foot encompasses beyond the diabetic foot care, but also foot conditions that require close attention by highly skilled team of podiatrists.
Sani Kamis began his career in Podiatry a decade ago where he was trained in the United Kingdom, mainly around the South East of England. Sani graduated with a Podiatry prize award for his leadership and contribution in Podiatry as a student at the University of Brighton. During his undergraduate years, Sani spent a considerable amount of time dealing with elderly patients who had cases of various complexities with underlying history of diabetes. Sani’s first exposure to diabetic foot care was led by the academic guidance of Mr Alistair McInnes, who was one of the British podiatric leaders in Diabetes. Mr McIness represented Podiatry on several committees of Diabetes UK (formerly British Diabetic Association) and represented at the Department of Health and on NICE committee on diabetes education.
With great interest and knowing the importance of podiatry in foot care of the people with diabetes, Sani undertook post-graduate Masters programme on ways to offload the high risk foot, particularly those with diabetes. During this time, Sani undertook several trainings on ways to offload the at-risk foot including the Martini’s cast that was championed by Ms Louise Stuart, The Manchester ‘Martini’ Cast – anytime, any place, anywhere! Until today, Sani maintains his network with podiatrists with special interest in Diabetes in ensuring his skills and knowledge is up to date.
Sani spent a number of period undertaking various clinical work in the areas of diabetes, including at the London’s King’s College Diabetic Foot Clinic, a centre that focused on the multidisciplinary care of managing the diabetic foot. Upon completing his undergraduate training, Sani returned to his hometown in Brunei and attended the podiatry clinic where he witnessed the high number of patients with active diabetic foot ulcers that were undergoing podiatric treatment. From that experience, Sani was aware and became more sensitive towards different diabetic foot needs of different people based on their culture, geographic location and health delivery system. Sani also actively participates in raising public awareness on diabetes, specifically in diabetic foot care whereby he participated in various events held by authorities in the UK, Brunei and Singapore.
As a member of the Acute Care Team of podiatrists at the Singapore’s Diabetic Foot Centre, Sani shares his goal in the prevention of amputation among people with diabetes. Therefore, Sani believes in timely management, accessibility and modern resources towards the successful care of people with diabetes.
Michael Lai, D.P.M.
Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, USA
Member of Podiatry Association of Singapore
From: New York, USA
Spoken Languages: English, Mandarin
After graduating as a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine in 1999, Dr. Lai spent the next 8 years training and practicing in various major hospitals in the eastern United States, including the Veterans Affairs federal medical center in New Jersey. The USA has the highest prevalence of diabetes among all developed countries in the world, and Dr. Lai treated an especially vulnerable patient group (1 in 4 American veterans have diabetes).
Dr. Lai elaborated, “I’ve never restricted myself to any one corner of my specialty. But if you had asked me while I was in the US: Which aspect of podiatry do you have the most hands-on experience in? I would have had to say diabetic foot salvage.”
Dr. Lai was formerly the Principal Podiatrist at Singapore General Hospital, treating the Singaporean population from 2009 to 2015. While serving Singapore’s public health sector, Dr. Lai became aware of Singapore’s own diabetes management challenges which had culminated in the Ministry of Health’s declaration of “War On Diabetes” in 2016.
“While the USA tops the world in the prevalence of diabetes sufferers, Singapore is unfortunately second on the list. The southeast Asian population is genetically vulnerable to the disease; and in Singapore it is an epidemic.”
“At Singapore Diabetic Foot Centre, I wish to bring to bear my expertise and experience in combating diabetic foot complications. At SDFC, we have fine-tuned our clinical protocols to stringent excellence, as well as have the practice adapt rapidly to individual patient needs.”
“Despite living in the second most impacted country in the world, Singaporeans in general are unaware of diabetic foot complications and treatments. I think that this is at least partially due to my profession’s lack of headway in Singapore, as opposed to podiatry in America; as experts in diabetic foot care, we podiatrists have a lot to offer. Patients with neuropathic pain do have options for treatment. Patients with diabetic foot ulcers can heal completely within months. Diabetics do not have to suffer foot problems; they can be completely prevented. Podiatry, when practiced at the gold standards of the profession, can make that happen.”