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Efforts to help Singaporeans make healthier choices: Dr Chia Shi-Lu

These efforts are needed to ensure Singapore does not become an "aging and unhealthy nation", says the Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC.

SINGAPORE: The Government should continue to highlight healthy hawker cooking or have advisory health notices on unhealthy foods much like cigarette packaging, Member of Parliament Dr Chia Shi-Lu suggested in Parliament on Tuesday (May 27).

These are critical moves to be made as a nation, he said, as the crisis is not so much of an aging population but "if we are an aging and unhealthy nation".

Dr Chia also lauded the Government's effort to considering to raise the legal minimum age - currently 18 years - to buy cigarettes.

On MediShield Life, he said there are certain health conditions that incur significant costs to the patient and the family and these conditions require better coverage than what is offered today such as cancer treatment and kidney dialysis.

Therefore, he hopes these needs will be met through MediShield Life or other supplementary programmes.

He also suggested that the Government should look into using technology to monitor the well-being of seniors living alone, in as unobtrusive and respectful a manner as possible.

Currently, there are alarm systems in some homes which can be activated in case of emergency, but he said situations may arise when the resident is unable to activate this system. Instead, he recommended the use of simple, cost-effective monitoring systems which require no deliberate actions from the resident.

He illustrated wearable activity monitors, sensors that detect movement and appliance use, or checking on the usage of electricity and water within a given home. These smart systems may be used to alert the community when something of concern might have happened to a resident who lives alone, he said.

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