Early treatment of health issues and rehabilitation crucial to making a strong recovery: Heng Swee Keat

ST VIDEO: KEVIN LIM
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat speaking at the National Neuroscience Institute Brain Awareness Carnival at Our Tampines Hub on May 20, 2017.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat speaking at the National Neuroscience Institute Brain Awareness Carnival at Our Tampines Hub on May 20, 2017.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Mr Heng Swee Keat taking part in a mass exercise during the National Neuroscience Institute Brain Awareness Carnival at Our Tampines Hub on May 20.
Mr Heng Swee Keat taking part in a mass exercise during the National Neuroscience Institute Brain Awareness Carnival at Our Tampines Hub on May 20.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Mr Heng Swee Keat touring a booth that exhibits a neurosurgical navigation system during the National Neuroscience Institute Brain Awareness Carnival at Our Tampines Hub on May 20.
Mr Heng Swee Keat touring a booth that exhibits a neurosurgical navigation system during the National Neuroscience Institute Brain Awareness Carnival at Our Tampines Hub on May 20.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE -  Even as we take precautions about our health, diseases may still strike.  Early treatment and rehabilitation are then crucial when it comes to making a strong recovery,  Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Saturday (May 20) morning.

He was speaking about his recovery from stroke at the inaugural National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) Brain Awareness carnival at Our Tampines Hub. 

The carnival is the NNI’s first large-scale public education in the heartlands aimed at raising awareness of neurological conditions, such as stroke and dementia, and how to prevent them.

Mr Heng suffered a severe stroke during a cabinet meeting in May 2016. He was discharged from hospital in late June and returned to work in August.

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"When in hospital, the doctors found out that I was at low risk of stroke. But low risk does not mean no risk," said Mr Heng.

"If things go wrong and someone in the family falls ill, we will need early treatment. The more disciplined they are about the recovery and the rehabilitation ... it will make a big difference."

 

He urged those at the event to take part in the mass exercises sessions, and visit the informative booths and health exhibition.

NNI medical director Ng Wai Hoe said in his speech that when Mr Heng was recovering in the hospital, he expressed a desire to help educate the public on stroke and how one can work to overcome challenges of the condition.

He also shared an anecdote of how Mr Heng still had the residents of his constituency in mind even while he was in the intensive care unit (ICU).

"As he was stable and recovering well, we thought it would be nice to take him through a route that passed by the hospital's garden," he said, referring to the the time Mr Heng was being taken for a routine brain scan.

"During the short stop overlooking the garden, he turned to the team and commented that he had ideas for us to improve our garden's landscape.  Later, he shared that he had been thinking hard on how to beautify Our Tampines Hub."

Over 2,000 visitors are expected at the event, which will be held over the weekend from 9am to 6pm.