Self-employed taxi drivers to benefit from workplace health promotion initiatives

Photo above: Dr Amy Khor encouraging a taxi driver to exercise. With her are Mr Ang Hak Seng (R), CEO of HPB and Mr Wee Boon Kim (back), President of NTA.

SINGAPORE - With the new Memorandum of Understanding between the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and National Taxi Association (NTA), taxi drivers who are considered self-employed will now be able to benefit from workplace health initiatives.

"Taxi drivers typically spend long hours at one stretch behind the wheel... They are at higher risk of suffering from high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, kidney problems as well as backaches and stiff necks," said Ang Hak Seng, CEO of HPB.

To address these health needs, some of the initiatives include regular health screenings and follow-ups with general practitioners, workshops on tips to improve their health and dedicated health corners.

Health corners at all six Taxi Servicing centres will help improve taxi drivers' health literacy, and allow drivers to check their Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure and cholesterol levels while waiting for their vehicles to be serviced.

"This should help to improve the health of our taxi drivers who are at risk of suffering from various chronic diseases due to long hours spent at the wheel with little time for exercise and often irregular meals," said Amy Khor, Minister of State for Health and Manpower.

With an average of 200 taxis serviced every day at each of the six service locations, HPB expects its workplace health initiatives to reach some 1,200 taxi drivers every day.

To assess the effectiveness of the initiatives and gather feedback, some 2000 taxi drivers will be surveyed on a yearly basis by the HPB.