Healthier SG is a pioneering national initiative launched by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Singapore, set into motion on 5 July 2023. This initiative marks a paradigm shift from curative care to preventive care, nudging Singaporeans towards adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Through Healthier SG, the government aims to promote a culture of proactive healthcare and foster a community that embraces activities like running, which is not only a symbol of active living but also a stride towards communal wellness.
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Background of Healthier SG
The need to transition from reactive to proactive healthcare has never been more paramount. Healthier SG embodies this transition, aiming to transform the healthcare delivery model over a multi-year strategy.
The blueprint of Healthier SG is a result of extensive consultations and engagements with over 6,000 residents, General Practitioners, employers, and community partners.
These stakeholders play a crucial role in designing a plan that caters to the diverse needs of the community while promoting healthier practices such as regular running and other forms of physical activity.
Key Features of Healthier SG
The Healthier SG initiative, spearheaded by the Ministry of Health, is a visionary step towards fostering a culture of preventive healthcare and promoting an active lifestyle among Singaporeans.
The initiative lays down a structured framework aimed at making healthcare more proactive and tailored to the individual needs of the residents.
Below are the key features that encapsulate the essence of Healthier SG:
- Family Doctor Network: Establishing a network of family doctors committed to delivering preventive care, acting as the first line of defense against health issues.
- Personalised Health Plans: Encouraging the creation of personalised health plans for residents, encompassing lifestyle adjustments, regular health screenings, and vaccinations to maintain optimal health.
- Community Partner Activation: Mobilising community partners to provide support and encouragement for residents in adopting healthier lifestyles.
- Promoting Active Lifestyles: By emphasising the importance of preventive care and active living, Healthier SG nudges individuals towards incorporating more physical activities like running into their daily routines.
- National Enrollment Program: Launching a national enrollment program that encourages residents to commit to a health plan with a family doctor, ensuring a structured and personalised approach to healthcare.
- Infrastructure and Policy Enablers: Setting up essential enablers like IT systems for seamless healthcare data management, manpower development for enhanced service delivery, and financing policies to ensure affordability and accessibility of preventive care services.
Through these key features, Healthier SG aims to weave a fabric of preventive care that is accessible, personalised, and conducive to fostering a healthier and more active community in Singapore.
The implementation of Healthier SG follows a phased enrollment, initially targeting residents aged 60 years and above in the second half of 2023, and then extending to those in the 40-59 age group in the subsequent years.
Among the benefits for residents are fully subsidised nationally recommended screenings and vaccinations, no cash co-payment for chronic care management under MediSave, and a new Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) subsidy tier.
Family doctors are at the heart of this strategy, providing holistic care with an emphasis on preventive measures and improved chronic care management.
Did you know that engaging in at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week not only tones the body but also releases “happy hormones” called endorphins, which enhance mood and reduce stress. Additionally, the improved circulation from exercise gives your skin a healthy, radiant glow, making you look and feel good!RunSociety
Impact and Future Directions
Healthier SG is expected to significantly impact the population’s health and the healthcare system. According to Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, the initiative will not only reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases, such as diabetes but also enhance the management and control of existing health conditions.
The long-term vision includes a reduction in healthcare costs, enhanced public awareness on the importance of preventive care, and higher engagement levels in health-promoting activities like running.
Looking ahead, the continuous refinement and expansion of Healthier SG, integration with other national initiatives, and leveraging technology and innovation are crucial steps towards achieving a healthier and more vibrant society in Singapore.
Taking Charge: Your Personal Pathway to Health and Longevity
Engaging with national health initiatives like Healthier SG is a step in the right direction, but there’s a lot more you can do as an individual to enhance your health and prolong your life.
Here are eight pointers to guide you on this self-driven health journey:
- Regular Exercise:
- Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, as recommended by health experts. Activities could include walking, running, swimming, or cycling.
- Balanced Diet:
- Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats to provide your body with essential nutrients.
- Routine Health Screenings:
- Regular health check-ups and screenings can help catch potential issues early and keep you on top of your health status.
- Adequate Sleep:
- Ensure you’re getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night to allow your body and mind to rejuvenate.
- Stress Management:
- Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to keep stress levels in check.
- Avoid Harmful Behaviors:
- Steer clear of smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and other harmful behaviors that can adversely affect your health.
- Continuous Learning and Social Engagement:
- Stay mentally active and socially engaged by learning new skills, participating in community activities, and maintaining a healthy social circle.
- Preventive Health Measures:
- Follow recommended vaccination schedules, and practice good hygiene to prevent infections and illnesses.
- Engage in a Virtual Race:
Each of these steps contributes to building a solid foundation for a healthier, longer life. While Healthier SG provides a structural framework for proactive healthcare, your personal commitment to these healthful practices is the key to unlocking a vibrant and fulfilling life.
Towards a Healthier Singapore
Healthier SG signifies a monumental step towards fostering a culture of preventive healthcare and active living in Singapore. Through this initiative, the nation is not only combating the rising tide of chronic diseases but also nurturing a thriving running community that epitomizes a vibrant and healthy society.
The journey towards a Healthier SG is a collective endeavor, and with the support and active participation of the community, Singapore is well on its path to achieving a robust and sustainable healthcare ecosystem.
Common FAQs on Healthier SG
What are the differences in fees between being enrolled with a polyclinic or a GP under Healthier SG?
Fees for common chronic medications are similar at polyclinics and GP clinics under Healthier SG, though consultation fees may vary as GPs set their own prices. From early 2024, CHAS/MG/PG cardholders enrolled with a Healthier SG GP can opt for the Healthier SG Chronic Tier, receiving medications at prices comparable to polyclinics and enjoying subsidies of up to 87.5% on whitelisted chronic medications. Additional subsidies on consultation fees at GP clinics are available, subject to annual and per visit dollar limits.
What if I haven’t received the SMS invitation to join Healthier SG?
MOH is progressively sending SMS invitations to eligible individuals. Those aged 60 and above, or 40 and above with chronic conditions, can self-enrol using HealthHub upon receiving the invitation SMS. They may also enroll at Healthier SG Enrolment Stations, Healthier SG roadshows, or request an early SMS for self-enrolment via HealthHub. For further clarification, contact MOH Hotline at 6325 9220.
If I enroll with a polyclinic, will I see the same doctor each time?
Polyclinics operate in teams, and while you may see different doctors, continuity and consistency of care are maintained through proper handover and follow-up within the teams.
How can I find the nearest Healthier SG Enrolment Station or check if my GP/ polyclinic is participating in Healthier SG?
Find your nearest Enrolment Station and the list of participating clinics at https://gowhere.gov.sg/healthiersg. Enter your postal code or clinic name to search.
I’ve been seeing various doctors at GP clinics and the polyclinic. Which doctor should I enroll with, and can I continue to see multiple doctors after enrolment?
If you have a regular Healthier SG GP clinic, it’s encouraged to stay and develop a long-term relationship with a doctor there. While you’re urged to commit to one family clinic for a holistic Health Plan under Healthier SG, you can continue to see multiple doctors as needed, with your Healthier SG family clinic serving as the primary point-of-contact for managing your health.