Singaporeans' life expectancy among highest in the world: Public sector report

Singaporeans' life expectancy among highest in the world: Public sector report

COVID-19 Masked People Bedok Jetty 2 East Coast Park
People wearing face masks at Bedok Jetty along East Coast Park on Jul 19, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: The life expectancy of Singaporeans is among the highest in the world at 81.4 and 85.7 for men and women respectively in 2019, according to the latest public sector report released on Thursday (Nov 26).

The Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review, which is published every two years, also touched on COVID-19, saying that the pandemic has fostered a “strong spirit of care and concern” for one another.

The report, prepared by the Ministry of Finance, shows how Singapore has fared in key areas of national interest with data covering up to 2019 in most cases.

According to the report, the health adjusted life expectancy at birth for Singaporeans is also one of the highest in the world. Measuring the number of years a person is expected to live in good health, the expectancy is 72.6 for men and 75.8 for women in 2017.

Mortality rates in Singapore due to cancer, stroke and heart diseases have also reduced over the years, said the report.

However, about one in three residents aged 40 to 69 has hypertension, one in seven has diabetes and two in five have high cholesterol.

“We will need to strengthen our efforts to tackle these chronic conditions and continue to build a strong health ecosystem that empowers Singaporeans to live healthy lives,” said the report.

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COVID-19 FOSTERED SENSE OF COMMUNITY AMONG EACH OTHER

While COVID-19 has affected many aspects of life, it has also brought about a strong sense of community among Singaporeans, said the report.

More than 28,000 grassroots, public service and citizen volunteers helped in the nationwide mask collection exercises, while more than 1,500 grassroots leaders and volunteers had taken on roles as safe distancing ambassadors.

Individuals have also taken personal responsibility to abide by the national public health measures, said the report. For example, the TraceTogether app covers more than 50 per cent of the population, with more than 2.9 million app and token users as of November.

The report said that Singaporeans have shown “everyday acts of care” including via SGUnited, a digital portal for people to contribute toward the national response to COVID-19.

Between January and May this year, a total of S$90 million was donated to the Community Chest, the Community Foundation of Singapore’s Sayang Sayang Fund, as well as through the SG Cares app and Giving.sg donation platform.

Head of civil service Leo Yip said that this year’s report recognised the partnership between the government and people in the collective fight against COVID-19.

“Working together has enabled us to serve those in need and overcome this crisis as one.

“Whether in crisis or in normalcy, the Public Service will continue to strive for better outcomes for our citizens and our businesses,” said Mr Yip.

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90% OF HOUSEHOLD LIVE WITHIN 10-MINUTE WALK FROM A PARK

With around 90 per cent of households in Singapore living within a 10-minute walk from a park, Singapore is among one of the world’s greenest and most liveable cities, said the report.

Seventy per cent of households are also within a 10-minute walk from a train station, it said.

There is affordable and accessible public housing, with 80 per cent of resident households living in Housing and Development Board flats, with 90 per cent owning their own homes.

For families buying their first flat, they can use the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant of up to S$80,000, on top of the subsidised price of the flat. A first-timer family buying a resale flat can also get total housing grants of up to S$160,000.

The report also highlighted that towns are more technology-enabled and sustainable through features such as smart utility meters and lights.

“These features will not only lower utility bills, but also allow Singaporeans to contribute to sustainable living,” it said, noting that areas like the Jurong Lake District and Punggol Digital District would bring jobs closer to home.

Singapore’s transport network is also “convenient, reliable and accessible”, said the report.

With Singapore progressing towards the goal of 20-minute towns within a 45-minute city, this means that people can walk, cycle, or ride to the nearest neighbourhood centre within 20 minutes and complete most peak-period journeys between their homes and workplaces within 45 minutes

Source: CNA/ad(rw)

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