So you report to the office sick one morning but hesitate to go to the doctor.

Why?

You imagine your healthcare experience as a patient in the healthcare system. You spend hours waiting for a doctor only to see him/her for minutes. Crowded into a waiting room, you’re surrounded by sick people. Your condition worsens.

Worse still – you wasted your whole morning waiting for the doctor when you could have spent those extra hours resting. You return to work later than expected.

Cue corporate health – this is the patient experience majority of patients face. Add sick employees with the number of man hours lost and it is the perfect recipe for an inefficient workforce.

Costs and Disadvantages of Diminished Employee Health

The costs associated with a sick employee extends far beyond the financial aspect, it’s inclusive of opportunity costs, productivity losses, and long-term disengagement.

According to a study conducted by BMC Public Health, there is a correlation between poor health and higher absenteeism rates, lower engagement with work, as well as amplified stress levels.

 An employee loses on average, 4.4 working days in 2018 because of sickness. A workplace injury is very common – occurring once every 20mins in Singapore. Impairment due to illnesses or injury incurs significant productivity cost in Singapore. Good healthcare means getting employees back to work faster through a seamless patient experience.

In the long run, poor healthcare can even lead to development of debilitating illnesses or chronic conditions such as hypertension which cause employees to leave the workforce permanently. This can incur significant opportunity costs in the forms of missed revenues and costs of hiring substitutes.

Trends

Across Asia Pacific, the demographics of our working population are seeing a shift towards:

  • An ageing population.
  • High levels of chronic diseases and multiple chronic conditions
  • Increased awareness about mental health.

In Singapore alone, the proportion of older adults with three or more chronic diseases has nearly doubled from 2009 to 2017, according to a study conducted by the Ministry of Health and its partners.

The interaction of these trends has necessitated the implementation of an integrated employee healthcare benefits system. For instance, the trend of an ageing workforce is likely to result in a higher prevalence of chronic conditions.

If left disregarded, productivity rates and work engagement are on the cusp of a major decline.

How should companies go about implementing healthcare benefits

What ails the average Singaporean worker? Stress? Escalating living costs? Increased risk of chronic diseases?

At Kent Ridge Health, our comprehensive and modern employee health benefit system couples the conventional methods of healthcare delivery with technology, helping to ease pain points experienced by both employers and patients.

The fundamentals of good health are underpinned by a myriad of factors, one of which being preventive care. As such, businesses should provide health benefits which target at disease mitigation and prevention, such as annual health screenings and vaccinations. They can also tap into alternative forms of healthcare, such as mental and emotional health support.

Based on each company’s unique demographic, businesses can consider subscribing to onsite care facilities or shared wellness centers. These solutions can provide workers with readily accessible medical coverage and extended services such as annual health check-ups.

Companies can also explore the option of using telemedicine, a form of healthcare which leverages on technology to provide medical assistance via mobile devices. This allows patients to consult a qualified doctor via call or video chat to receive preliminary diagnoses and prescriptions for medication when medical problems arise.

Sources:

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