Home > Hot Topics
MoH Urge Public to Take Responsibility for Own Health
October 31st, 2016 | 11:09 AM | 14427 views
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Health is everyone's business. This is the message that the Ministry of Health (MoH) issued earlier this year, calling on the whole of society to take responsibility for their health and to lessen the prevalence of obesity in the country.
During a press conference in June, the ministry said in a statement, "Good health is the foundation of a good life. Our own health and the health of our families and friends underpin our ability to enjoy life to the fullest. When we are well we are able to make the most of the opportunities that life has to offer and to play a full part in family, community and working life. In alignment with Vision 2035, better health for the nation is central to making a better country.
"Health and wellbeing in Brunei Darussalam has improved over recent decades. However, our health today falls short of what we know is possible," it was shared. "Although life expectancy has increased, good health is not just about how long people live. It is also about the quality of life and preventing people from spending a significant part of their lives in pain or discomfort, depending on others for support."
The Global Nutrition Report 2016 shows that Brunei is hit harder than its Asean neighbours by the big killers of obesity and diabetes. These findings are not new, said the MoH statement.
"A total of 61 per cent of adults in Brunei are overweight and obese. Already the devastating effects of this can be observed. Greater than 30 per cent of the adult population suffer from high blood pressure, 70 per cent from abnormal lipid (cholesterol) and 12 per cent of adults suffer from diabetes.
"The cause of this 'obesity epidemic' is clear --an inactive lifestyle combined with excessive intake of foods high in sugars and saturated fats. What is also clear is that with the appropriate levels of nutrition and physical activity, obesity is indeed preventable," added the MoH statement.
"In light of the Global Nutrition Report 2016, we want to reiterate our commitment to tackling NCD5 including obesity. We make a call for action for the whole of society to do the same. The Ministry of Health is committed to supporting the national effort to prevent and reduce excess weight.
"We cannot do this alone. A whole-of -nation approach to tackling this issue is imperative. Government agencies and non-government entities must consider the consequences of their policies on health, the so-called 'Health in All Policies' agenda.
"In this regard, we continue to look to the full range of partners in both government and private sectors including schools, institutes of higher education, and community grassroot leaders and civil society groups to encourage and support individuals to eat a healthy diet and become more physically active to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
"We urge the public to work with us by taking responsibility for their own lifestyle choices. Health is everyone's business. Let us work together to build a healthy Brunei
In February this year, the Ministry of Health announced in a press release its new organisational structure, which came into effect on February 10, 2016.
It stated that, against the backdrop of rising number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) f in the country, demographic shifts rising expectations of our citizens and coupled with the global economic pressure, a new approach is needed whereby the ministry can no longer operate with 'business as usual' attitude
The reorganisation is aimed to minimise duplication of services and reduce wastage of resources, with a focus on clear high-impact outcomes. The Ministry of Health also shared that it aspires to position the national healthcare system to deliver a more cost-effective, integrated and holistic healthcare services.
With the vision 'Together towards a Healthy Nation', the ministry has set three strategic priorities for the next five years: inculcate "health is everyone's business"; prevent and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs); and deliver excellence through consolidation and realignment of healthcare services.
The ministry shared that, towards this, it is taking a number of measures. One is a `Go back to basics' approach through re-visiting its mission and goals; understanding its customers and their expectations; the progress and achievements so far; and its plans going forward.
Another is to exercise continuous improvement at every level of the organisation focusing on reducing wastages and turning it into value for the public.
Third is an open and participatory approach - making everyone accountable for their health and well being. This will require collaborative and a whole-of-nation approach, involving every key stakeholder in the country.
Fourth is to empower more than 6,000 staff in the ministry to be innovators and problem solvers. This will bring about a culture of accountability and pride in their work as well as minimising bureaucracy.
Lastly is to inculcate a 'Growth Mindset' and support development of staff.
In the same press release, the ministry also stated that "Health professionals will maintain their expertise and contribute towards the continuous development of healthcare services in Brunei Darussalarn."
At the heart of the new organisation structure, are the four core values of the Ministry of Health: Client first (our clients define us); Together (we are one and we embrace diversity and we are united through one common purpose); Excellence (we uphold the highest level of professionalism, where everyone matters and everyone delivers the highest quality service every time); and Dynamic (we embrace change and develop our people through having a 'growth mindset' and we thrive on the opportunity to continuously improve).
The overall restructuring of Ministry of Health has produced three broad clusters.
The first is a strategic cluster. Second, comprised of two clusters, that is, service delivery overseen by the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional and Technical) and policy and foresight by the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Policy).
Lastly, the third is a services cluster run by frontline service providers (such as hospitals, health centres, public health
services and clinics). The Minister of Health now takes the oversight of the Health Promotion, Legal Affairs, and a new unit called 'Innovation Delivery Academy' (IDeA).
It is mentioned that Health Promotion is given greater profile ith the necessary high-level commitment to ensure that the ministry works closely with relevant stakeholders from various government agencies, private sectors and the community in taking the responsibility of maintainin health and ensuring health in all policies.
IDeA will be responsible to incubate new ideas, monitor and manage the key strategic initiatives of the ministry and ensure these projects are aligned with both the ministry and national's agenda through a delivery framework)
The press release goes on to state that the second cluster that comprises service delivery and policy and foresight highlights the importance of focusing on core businesses; and the need for the ministry to be proactive by utilising health information and data for better informed policy and decision making. The ministry said it will track its performance through appropriate data management and ensure that delivery of services is safe, timely, efficient, effective, equitable, and personalised (patient-centric).
"The ministry acknowledges that an organisational change will give rise to excitement and at the same time uncertainty. Ministry of Health is confident, with the new structure and the commitment of its staff through shared values as well as a common purpose, that it can deliver its goals. This will be 'a journey' and not a case of overnight change, which will need to be well managed and led.
"Overall, the new structure is lean, seamless and based on the functional need for the ministry to provide quality service to its clients and stakeholders. The ministry will also benefit from greater management and operational flexibility as well as enhance its ability to respond to changing circumstances.
"Together, with the cooperation of all stakeholders, the ministry aspires to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Brunei Darussalam through a high-quality and comprehensive health care system which is effective, efficient, responsive, affordable, equitable and accessible to all in the country."
If you have any stories or news that you would like to share with the global online community, please feel free to share it with us by contacting us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org