"Machine doctor" who helps sustain lives

NKF Bio Medical Engineer Mr Ramesh Arumugam, 42, is passionate about his work in ensuring that the dialysis machines and medical instruments are working smoothly as they contribute a big part to patients’ medical outcomes. He feels a sense of fulfilment in using his knowledge to serve the patients.

How many members are there in your team? How do you go about your work? Is there a comprehensive system?

My team comprises seven engineers including myself and one admin executive to look after admin work at the department. Each engineer looks after ve to six of our 35 dialysis centres in operation. Should there be any major breakdowns, engineers are spread out at various dialysis centre locations islandwide in order to reach the affected centre within 20 minutes. We also work closely with medical specialists, nurses and infection control teams to set standards on various segments of dialysis as well as ensuring the safe delivery of treatment in the dialysis centres.

Are there any special experiences and encounters in your job?

During the H1N1 flu virus in 2009, the engineers were unable to travel from one dialysis centre cluster zone to another for several weeks due to quarantine reasons. Every day was a challenge but we managed to troubleshoot and solve any issues with the dialysis machines, water treatment system and other bio-medical equipment.

As someone who works behind the scenes, do you meet patients in person or encourage them?

Since working with NKF, whenever I get a call for machine problems, I will go down to the dialysis centre to solve them. When the patients see me, they will call me “machine doctor”. I will laugh and tell them that they are right, but will let them know that I am not actually a doctor but an engineer.


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