Employee well-being is key to improving people’s health: Ong Ye Kung
SINGAPORE – Improving employee wellbeing is one of the key ways businesses can work with the government to improve the nation’s health, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said Monday (May 30).
Companies can also play an important role in producing healthier food and developing digital solutions that improve preventive care, he added.
Mr Ong was speaking at the launch of the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) white paper on the future of healthcare and wellbeing, held at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Singapore on Monday.
The book outlines the steps needed over the next few years for a more sustainable future for Singapore’s health and well-being.
Mr Ong said the book was a “most timely publication”, as it comes after the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced a major reform of Singapore’s healthcare system, known as the HealthierSG.
The HealthierSG initiative involves a shift in national focus towards preventive care.
Mr Ong said that unlike acute care, preventive care must be a sustained effort and, if done early enough, can be easy, affordable and even enjoyable.
It also happens at home, and among friends and companions, he said.
“Because of these differences, patients have become consumers and vice versa when it comes to preventive care.
“So I think preventive care opens up a lot more opportunities for innovation and participation for businesses and industries, and we have a great opportunity to build a strong public-private-people partnership for health,” said Ms. .NGO.
He highlighted three areas in which businesses can participate.
First, improve employee well-being. Noting that a healthier workforce is more productive, Mr Ong said the workplace is a very important part of people’s social circles and a natural touchpoint to encourage people to change their habits. .
He added that the MOH has worked with companies over the years to implement various workplace wellness programs, but some of them have been discontinued due to the pandemic.
“With employees now returning to the workplace, I hope companies will redouble their efforts to reintroduce many of these personal care, fitness and wellness programs,” he said. said, adding that he hoped companies would encourage employees to enroll in the HealthierSG program when it rolls out next year.