How will Healthier SG make us a healthier nation? 


Healthcare in Singapore is undergoing a revolution, with preventive care taking centre stage in how we approach our health. Instead of ignoring the symptoms and treating diseases when they manifest, would it not make more sense if we could catch the problems early or prevent them altogether? 

That is the idea behind HealthierSG, a nationwide initiative which aims to equip us with the knowledge to take proactive steps to lead a healthy lifestyle and address health risks before they escalate into full-blown illnesses. 

As Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung shared in a Facebook post, “With support from the Government and the community, individuals can be empowered to take the first step to a healthier and more fulfilling life.” 

Take seeing a doctor, for instance. Unless one is a hypochondriac, a doctor is someone we run to only when we feel unwell and need medication. And this focus on treating sickness only when it appears is something Healthier SG hopes to change – by transforming our relationship with our family doctors into something less transactional. 

Following the official launch of HealthierSG earlier this month, residents over 40 will be invited to enrol with a Healthier SG General Practitioner (GP) clinic or polyclinic. Under this scheme, individuals will schedule regular visits with their family doctor, who will help them develop a personalised health plan and advise them on recommended health screenings and vaccinations.  

Over time, these health plans are likely to become more personalised as individuals use digital apps like Healthy 365 to track their health goals and nudge them to stay on top of their personalised health plans, said Minister Ong.  

“As they review their progress with their GPs, health plans can be iterated and improved upon.” 

A nationwide effort in preventive care 

Besides enrolling with a GP to monitor one’s health, Healthier SG also aims to encourage everyday physical activity and cultivate a culture of leading an active lifestyle. Already, we are seeing the creation of more bicycle lanes, park connectors and green spaces. Within the community, Singaporeans can look forward to an ever-expanding number of sporting options ranging from Zumba to Qigong at community clubs and ActiveSG Sports Centres. 

To raise awareness of preventive care works and help residents with their HealthierSG enrolment, the Health Ministry has planned a series of roadshows across the island in the next few months. In attendance at the first roadshow held last week was MP Mr Yip Hon Wen (Yio Chu Kang SMC), who felt heartened to see many of his residents at the launch exhibition learning about healthy living and eating habits.  

Healthier SG will be a seismic shift to move our healthcare system from a reactive approach to a proactive one, turning us from passive bystanders to active participants with the power to take charge of our health. Policy-wise, it is also bold and ambitious as it seeks to help Singaporeans stay healthy for longer without looking like a nanny state.  

The journey towards Healthier SG is a long and winding one. But one thing is for sure, preventing diseases using a combination of early screenings and lifestyle changes is infinitely more cost-effective (financially and mentally) than treating them in the long run. So, what are you waiting for? Enrol in Healthier SG today if you are eligible. After all, good health is to die for, and there can be no bounty big enough for it.  

Photo Source: MOH/Yip Hon Wen/Ong Ye Kung via Facebook