PUTRAJAYA: Many Malaysians only exercise out of necessity rather than a desire for a healthy lifestyle, said Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
The Health Minister said that studies showed that Malaysians only begin exercising between the ages of 40 and 50, which was usually when they discover a health issue.
“Only after the doctor informs an individual that they have health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes do they start to go for walks or jogging.
“But by that time, a lot of them are not as able bodied or physically fit to exercise. But studies show that there are more Malaysians between 40 and 50 who exercise. This shows that exercise is not really part of our lifestyle, but more out of necessity,” said Dr Subramaniam at the Putrajaya Hospital here.
At the event, Cuepacs and Sun Life Malaysia Bhd donated a dialysis machine and two hi-flow nasal cannula units to the hospital.
At a separate event, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa said he was in talks with the Health Ministry to extend its national healthy community programme called “Kospen” to the civil service.
“The Health Ministry has spoken to me about their intention to extend the Kospen programme to the civil service. They are still ironing out the details.
“Civil servants can do health check-ups at hospitals for free, but not many do it. I encourage them to do periodical checks. Non-communicable diseases can be prevented if we take early measures,” said Dr Ali, after launching the ‘Love Your Kidney’ health forum by Puspanita at the Health Ministry .
The recent National Health Morbidity Survey 2015 findings showed that about 3.5 million Malaysian adults have diabetes, 6.1 million have hypertension while 9.6 million - nearly half of the population - have high cholesterol.
The study also showed that a large percentage of Malaysians with those diseases are not aware of it, mainly because they do not undergo check-ups.
“The Kospen programme is currently only organised at community-level with the collaboration of the Community Development Department (Kemas).
“Under the programme, we try to promote healthy lifestyle through exercise, good diet practices and encouraging the people to go for health screenings.
“Prevention is better than cure.
“We are in the midst of preparing a module for the civil service to participate and we hope we can implement it by this year,” said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, who was also at the event.