Dr Yew Wai TANG

Medical Specialities: General Practitioner
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Dr Yew Wai TANG

Dr Wu Lien-Teh is Yew Wai Tang's second great-uncle.


My family is from Ipoh and my parents were fortunate enough to know Dr Wu when he lived and worked there during his latter years. He died just before I was born but I have known of him from when I was young because my parents talked about him and they referred to him as a revered doctor and as the Plague Fighter. With such a rousing description, to a little boy, I had imagined that he carried a gun.

Of course, his weapons were in the laboratory, and that was at a time when science was not fully understood, resources were not made available and political masters had other ideas – no change there then.

Dr Wu was extremely astute in recognising that there must be an invisible airborne contagion responsible for the outbreak of the Manchurian pneumonic plague in 1910. Whilst many aspects of the practice and understanding of modern medicine have no semblance to what they were like in Dr Wu’s day, his principles for the management of infectious diseases formed the foundations of what we know today and are grappling with in the current pandemic.

However, despite medical advances in the last 100 years, there is still no effective treatment for Covid-19 or any available immunisation. Trying to limit spread of the virus has been the main direction in fighting this pandemic and the world is in lockdown. The logistics and effects of managing a pandemic cannot be underestimated and difficult decisions have been made at national level to balance people's lives against financial and economic cost.

Doctors are fearful but thankfully I am not in the direct frontline as the Scottish healthcare service has quickly and successfully established a system whereby patients with possible Covid-19 symptoms are channelled to a 'hot' treatment centre, whilst the rest of Primary Care continues to deal with other everyday non-Covid-19 medical issues at 'cold' sites. As the nation and society come to grips with this pandemic, we realise that things will not be the same in terms of how people behave, how services are provided and what people expect from their healthcare service.


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