SINGAPORE – A doctor can advise a patient on how to break bad habits after a health screening but the latter may not have the discipline to adopt and sustain good ones.
Tampines residents now have the chance to go on a six-week structured programme, tailored to their needs, to ensure that they change their lifestyle after a screening.
A well-being coordinator will reach out to them regularly to guide them and follow up on progress in this initiative called Health Up!.
Led by SingHealth Polyclinics, the programme is a way to get better health outcomes for an ageing population, said Senior Minister of State for Health Koh Poh Koon at the launch at Our Tampines Hub on Saturday (Nov 27).
Dr Koh said that this programme takes a more holistic approach to population health, by focusing on helping people to change their lifestyle together with providers of clinical treatment. He noted that the biggest frustration many doctors or general practitioners face is that after recommending treatments, they have no control once the patients leave the clinic.
The programme will ensure that each resident is assigned to a well-being coordinator – a staff member from SingHealth who will help customise a care plan. This includes virtual workshops and small group sessions led by certified coaches, who will help participants plan their own exercise regimes and embrace healthier lifestyles.
The free programme, which targets to recruit 250 participants for a start, is open to Tampines residents who are Singapore citizens or permanent residents aged above 40.
Later phases could involve helping residents stay fit and engaged with their own health through the use of wearable devices.
Dr Koh said that for better population health, three challenges need to be tackled. They are integrating healthcare services and offering residents a collective guided approach to better health; reaching out to those with health needs early before complications develop; and reconnecting with those who have dropped out of the healthcare system.
Dr Koh said: “The plans and vision that I have shared on Health Up! are ambitious ones. It is what we must do to intervene upstream and move population health from ‘sick care’ to ‘healthcare’. Making positive lifestyle changes will give our ageing population more healthy years and more importantly, more fulfilling, active lives.”
Dr Sabrina Wee, clinic director (designate) of the upcoming Tampines North Polyclinic and one of the co-leads of Health Up!, said the initiative aims to “empower residents and families to adopt healthier lifestyle habits” and participate in “age-appropriate health screening and physical activities”.
Partners of the programme include Changi General Hospital, Health Promotion Board, Tampines GRC and Sport Singapore.
Residents can sign up via the SingHealth Polyclinics website or by scanning the QR code on exhibition panels in Our Tampines Hub.
Mr Richard De Roza, 73, a programme coordinator, said: “I want to sign up because I think it’ll be good to make me more active. But I hope it will be expanded to other areas as well, like Bukit Merah where there are many elderly people.”
Madam Jud Poh, 73, said she is already exercising “so this will be an addition to my lifestyle and maybe it will be something different for me to do”.