Singapore ramps up health screening for gig workers
More self-employed workers and gig workers will now be able to attend physical activity classes and go for regular health screenings under a government initiative to help these people stay healthy. The programme, first piloted in 2019 by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), will now be extended to another 7,000 workers by 2024.
As of August, 13,000 workers have participated in the initiative, comprising quarterly health screening and health coaching sessions, mental wellness workshops, as well as weekly physical activity classes run by the HPB. Currently, the majority of participants comprise taxi and private-hire car drivers, delivery riders, private tutors, or sports and fitness instructors.
Workers aged above 40 are at higher risk of developing chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes in general, said Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary, reported The Straits Times. This, coupled with the largely sedentary work and irregular schedules of gig workers, makes it essential to reach as many of them as possible, he said.
“[That’s] the age where you can really make a difference when you start to… [make] changes to your lifestyle, changes to your physical activity, changes to your diet,” he added.