Singapore

First Citizens' Jury formed in war against diabetes

To pick the public's brain on how to fight the rising tide of diabetes, a national Citizens' Jury has been convened by the Ministry of Health (MOH) for the first time.

A total of 75 people from different walks of life form the panel, and their task is to come up with ideas on preventing and managing diabetes here.

The jury members are all volunteers and include diabetics, doctors and individuals who neither have nor know others with the chronic ailment.

Some were invited by the ministry while others signed up following an open call on social media.

The Citizens' Jury is the first health-related public engagement initiative done in this manner in Singapore, said MOH, which also worked with public and private healthcare providers, such as polyclinics and specialist clinics, to recruit participants.

It is modelled after similar initiatives in countries such as New Zealand and Australia, where citizens come together to deliberate and propose recommendations for the government to study and, if feasible, implement them.

The move to crowdsource ideas on tackling diabetes comes as Singapore is waging a war on the chronic ailment, which affects one in nine adults here.

The first session for the jury will be held on Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm. Three more full-day sessions will follow until Jan 13, during which the members will discuss and fine-tune their ideas.

The suggestions will be compiled into a report by the jury members and submitted to MOH, which will then respond and keep the members in the loop on the progress of their recommendations. The information will be considered by the National Diabetes Prevention and Care Taskforce for potential implementation, said MOH.

Those who are unable to participate in this jury can share their ideas at: http://tinyurl.com/ybacr793

MEDICAL & HEALTH