Singapore— According to almost half of the country’s healthcare practitioners, Singaporeans are unprepared for the health-related costs of living until they are 100 years old, a survey conducted in 2018 showed.
Yahoo News Singapore reported that in Prudential Singapore’s report entitled “Healthy for 100?”, which was released on 23 July, Tuesday, it was revealed that the health practitioners who participated in the survey believed that containing rising costs was the most important tactic in helping our countrymen to get ready for the needs of an aging society.
The next most important factor is “greater physician emphasis on disease prevention and healthy lifestyles,” then more support for caregivers” and then “better integration.”
The report quotes Dr Jeremy Lim, partner and head of health and life sciences (Asia Pacific) of global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, as saying that containing rising costs is “a very legitimate concern.
Singapore, like the rest of the world, has seen healthcare inflation far outpace general inflation,” Dr Lim said.
Another solution could be the greater use of in-home medical technology, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Yet one more important point focused on the need for Singapore’s health system to place a bigger focus on preventative care.
According to Dr Lim Wee Shiong, senior consultant at Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Institute of Geriatrics and Active Ageing, “what cannot be denied is that I need to take ownership of my own health. It is not, in the end, my government’s problem”.
However, the report noted measures from the government to highlight preventative measures associated with ageing, including the Ministry of Health’s 2016 “War on Diabetes”, as well as the benefits that have come about because of this.
Dr Angelique Chan, executive director of the Centre for Ageing Research and Education and Duke-NUS Medical School said, “Singaporeans have become very alert to disease prevention, especially in the last five years. More people are running than ever before. They are choosing healthier food options and counting calories.”
The survey also showed that healthcare practitioners believe that young people need to participate more when it comes to preventative health care. Dr Chan says that “young Singaporeans are not very active in disease prevention. They do not think about ever being disabled or ill”.
She says that discussions on healthy living programmes are more and more including those who are younger, so that the approach to disease prevention would be truly “cradle to grave.”
But associate professor of Information Systems at Singapore Management University, an Hwee-Pink, says that this level of prevention may not be enough for the younger generations.
“Despite various campaigns on reducing sugar intake, cutting down on smoking, drinking more water, and keeping an active and healthy lifestyle, obesity is increasing among our kids.”
This research is the result of over 200 clinicians and healthcare providers in Singapore in March 2018, 40 percent of whom work at polyclinics or family clinics. Thirty-five percent work at general hospitals, 21 percent work at community hospitals, and four percent at specialist hospitals or institutions.
The Yahoo report says that in 2018, findings showed that 55 percent of respondents said that they’re unprepared to live to the age of 100, and only 29 percent actually want to do so.
On average, Singaporeans are expected to live to the age of 84.8 and enjoy 74.2 years of good health. -/TISG
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