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Ministers launch a health promotion campaign

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 17.9.2008 15.25
Press release -

The Ministers of Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen’s second Cabinet will contribute to health promotion. The Government discussed at its evening session on Wednesday 17 September, upon submission of the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Paula Risikko, health promotion in both the ministers’ own life and in their work.

Health promotion is principally the responsibility of individuals themselves, but ministers have an excellent opportunity to contribute to health promotion in their own workplace community too. Health promotion is in the interests of all people.

In their campaign ‘Ministers for Health Promotion’ the ministers commit themselves, by their own example and as desired by the Government, to promoting health in their own lives and workplaces. This is based on the Policy Programme for Health Promotion and the Government Resolution on health-promoting nutrition and physical activity. The Government has decided on both of these. The aim is to put health promotion into practice to as large an extent as possible. Other communities and all citizens are challenged to take part in health promotion and dissemination of good practices.

Participation is voluntary

The campaign includes three components: Ministers’ own health programmes, health promotion in their own workplace community, and the Government’s joint ‘health-promoting quarter’. It is voluntary for the ministers to take part in the campaign, which will last to the end of the Government’s term in office, but the promise to take part is binding. The campaign does not include fitness programmes that are out of the ordinary, but all the activities are such that all people in Finland can take up them.

Occupational health service is a key actor in the ministers’ individual health programmes; the ministers undergo an initial health examination and there will be follow-up examinations in the course of the campaign. In the context of occupational health care the ministers agree on the activities to promote and maintain their own health that they will pursue during the campaign. The achievement of the objectives will be monitored.

The ministers also commit themselves to improving the health and wellbeing of their workplace communities in cooperation with those responsible for the human resources and occupational safety and health issues of their ministries. This will be realised for instance by providing healthy domestic food in the Ministries’ workplace catering and meetings.

The Government’s joint ‘health-promoting quarter’ will disseminate good practices, and those practices can also be adopted by other workplaces. Even small steps may result in an important change from the health point of view if it will become a regular part of an individual’s life.

Citizens can also contribute to the campaign. Easy and simple health-promoting ideas will be gathered on the website www.terveyskannattaa.fi, which also people with a busy schedule are able to follow. People can send their own health-promoting ideas to the web address [email protected]

You can read more about the Policy Programme for Health Promotion on the website http://www.stm.fi/Resource.phx/eng/strag/promotion/index.htx

For more information about the campaign contact:
Maija Perho, Programme Manager, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. 050 443 0805
Professor Kari Reijula, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, tel. 040 550 2050, 030 474 2932
Sirpa-Sarlio Lähteenkorva, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. 050 554 4419

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