Healthy living leads to better quality of work, productivity
By Azaraimy HH

Emphasising the importance of healthy living among public servants, HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday urged all government employees to join hands in promoting healthy living, including consuming a balanced diet and shunning harmful habits such as smoking that has been proven to harm smokers as well as people around them.

The Crown Prince made a sabda during the official opening of a symposium on "Healthy Workplace in Public Services 2010" at the Bridex International Convention Centre, Jerudong.

The Crown Prince said, the increasing trend in chronic diseases in the country, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes, closely relates to the less healthy lifestyle. Besides that, there is also an increasing trend in obesity among the population due to lack of physical activities, unbalanced diet, smoking habits and high cholesterol that contribute to the chronic implications mentioned above.

This increasing trend among the population, including those in public services, HRH the Crown Prince warned, will obviously burden the government in terms of medical costs, which are increasing on an annual basis.

Additionally, in the context of public services, chronic diseases are among the reasons behind staff taking leave from work - either to undergo treatment at a hospital or given medical leave.

Due to this the productivity and efficiency of the organisation will also be affected, in turn the quality of the public services.

"This symposium is being hosted at the right time in promoting healthy living among the public sector employees," the Crown Prince said.

HRH the Crown Prince also noted the importance and relevance of the efforts of the Ministry of Health in collecting information to paint a real picture of the current health status of the public service employees.

The Crown Prince also acknowledged that several ministries have taken initiatives to promote healthy living in their respective workplaces.

"The findings from the analysis taken from the current information will certainly lead to concrete steps being taken immediately to improve on the health status of the public service employees, as it plays an important role towards the improvement and quality and productivity of their services," HRH said.

The Crown Prince added that the achievements of national agenda will directly relate to the level of skill, knowledge and the efficiency of all those in public service coupled with satisfactory personal health in order to maximise the contribution towards the organisation's excellence.

"We in the country are most fortunate because the continuous commitment of His Majesty's Government in putting into place several policies contributing towards socio-economic development, public facilities as well as basic amenities, including comprehensive healthcare system and facilities that enable us to enjoy a high level of health.

"However, we should not be complacent with the level of achievement, but should always make an effort to acquire current health status information of the citizens as told by His Majesty in the titah during the launch of the National Health Promotion Convention on July 24, 2004, that 'health is the responsibility of all'."

HRH the Crown Prince stressed that health promotions need active involvement from all including government agencies, private sector, NGOs, community groups as well as the general public.

In this relation, HRH the Crown Prince also stressed the important role of the leadership within the organisation in establishing or creating a healthy and safe workplace.

"Every head of an organisation must focus and give continuous commitment so that the healthy living culture will be fully practised in order to achieve the national Vision 2035 (Wawasan 2035)." - Borneo Bulletin (4th May 2010)