New programme for Tampines residents to help them adopt and sustain healthy lifestyle changes

SINGAPORE – A doctor can tell a patient how to tackle certain shortcomings after a health screening but the person may not have discipline to adopt and sustain new habits.

Tampines residents now have the chance to go on a six-week structured programme, tailored to their needs, to ensure 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, it will begin a pilot with 250 residents and 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 on Saturday (Nov 27) at Our Tampines Hub.

“We are taking a more holistic approach to population health, focusing on lifestyle changes that are integrated with clinical treatment providers,” he added.

He noted that the biggest frustration that 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, who is a staff member from SingHealth and who will help customise a care plan.

This includes virtual workshops and small group sessions led by certified coaches, who will help the participants to 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 above 40 years old.

Later phases can include the use of technology and wearable devices to help residents continue to stay fit and engaged in their own health.

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Dr Koh said for better population health, three challenges need to be tackled, including integrating clinical services and offerings for residents to get a collective guided approach.

Another issue is reaching out to those with health needs who are not currently known to the healthcare system, and reconnecting with those who have dropped out.

Centre Lead for Tampines Sport Centre Chong Kai Sheng speaks with a resident at Our Tampines Hub on Nov 27, 2021. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

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 ‘health care’. Making positive lifestyle changes will give our ageing population more healthy years and more importantly, more fulfilling, active lives.”

Dr Sabrina Wee, clinical director (designate) of the upcoming Tampines North Polyclinic, said Health Up! aims to “empower residents and families to adopt healthier lifestyle habits” and participate in “age-appropriate health screening and physical activities”.

Residents join in during the Get Active workout performance by ActiveSG at Our Tampines Hub on Nov 27, 2021. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

The programme includes partners like Changi General Hospital, Health Promotion Board, Tampines GRC and Sport Singapore.

Residents can sign up by visiting the SingHealth Polyclinics website or scanning the QR code on exhibition panels at 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”.

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