The following scenario could be reality in a community near you soon: people filling up those water bottles, getting out gear, and planning where to have kopi o (kosong, of course) after a community workout with friends.
You see, the upcoming change to Singapore’s healthcare system outlined in the White Paper by the Ministry of Health (MOH) is not just going to be Healthier SG.
It’s also a lot about Fun SG.
That’s a lot of #fitfam, #fitspo, #healthgoals and #motivation.
The point’s to keep people from falling ill. Why see the doctor while feeling bad when instead you can prevent that by having great times out with your friends?
In fact, the doctor can also step up his/her #healthgoals this way. Healthier doctor, healthier patients, even Healthier SG loh.
Like the HealthierSG White Paper says, this change is about giving people the power to chart their own journeys towards healthy and active lives.
To start, there’s the National Steps Challenge. Download the Healthy 365 app for Android or iOS, walk at least 5,000 steps a day, and earn Healthpoints (read: FairPrice supermarket and TransitLink vouchers and more)
There’re also improved and upcoming activities as well as programmes rolling out under Healthier SG – or what the White Paper calls social prescriptions.
You see, while doctors prescribe medication, community partners are on hand to prescribe you social activities to boost social, mental and physical well-being.
From brisk walks, qigong and community gardening, ball games and workouts with coaches — and many other things to do in between — Healthier SG’s including people of all fitness levels into this fun journey of keeping fit with friends.
The HPB, PA and SportSG are thus key nodes for this journey.
The HPB now has programmes that involve physical activities, good diets, tobacco control and enhancing mental well-being. The PA’s ones provide a vast array of health and wellness lifestyle activities, interest groups, and courses for different preferences and socialising opportunities.
Concurrently, SportSG educates residents on how healthy lifestyle habits mean better health. This includes personalised guidance from its Active Health Labs coaches – think personal training but at a fraction of the price.
HPB, SportSG and PA are also partnering more with healthcare clusters and family doctors. strengthening the programme referrals and follow-ups under Healthier SG.
The little ones won’t be left out too, with HPB programmes like Colours of the Mind that enhance their mental health and resilience continuing. For our growing senior population, the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) is enabling graceful ageing within their own neighbourhoods.
Following a health plan, after all, needs to happen outside clinic visits. It should, as the Government’s showing, be a mindset. It should be part of our daily lives.
Cover photo credit: HPB Facebook