THE Legislative Assembly was adjourned until 10:30am today to allow parliamentarians for their routine medical checkup.
Since 2011 a team from the Ministry of Health comes annually for medical checkup of law makers and staff of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga.
MPs and staff are screened on their blood, sugar and cholesterol level as well as their height, weight, waist and body mass index.
Tongatapu 8 constituency MP, Sione Taione says he finds the programme very useful for it helps him to closely monitor his health condition.
Taione adds he’s been keeping his medical checkup record since 2012 and he keeps track of the progress of his health. However he hopes for such screening to be carried out at least twice a year.
The Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning Dr. ‘Aisake Eke says it’s a good programme and it should be maintained.
“Medical checkup should be carried out at least twice a year for health management is very important,” said Dr. Eke.
He adds it’s good to see officials from the Ministry of Health going out to the public as a health prevention measures.
“When people go to the hospital, we know they have problems. When health workers go out to the public they can encourage people to live healthy,” said Dr. Eke.
Tongatapu 10 constituency MP Semisi Tapueluelu says the programme is very interesting. He said since 2012 he’s been keeping his medical record and so far his weight, blood, sugar and cholesterol level has been stable.
Tapueluelu says when he travels overseas he took his medical record with him in case of emergency.
“Such information would provide doctors with information about my health and what medical help they could provide for me,” explains Mr. Tapueluelu.
Sēmisi Tapueluelu thanks the Hon. Speaker for providing such service.
“The House is adjourned this morning so MPs could check the status of their health. It’s good to know that the Speaker promotes good health and it’s important for law makers not only to make laws but to have good health,” said Tongatapu 10 constituency MP.
Meanwhile Head of the Ministry of Health’s Health Promotion Unit Dr. ‘Ofa Tukia says they are happy to visit Parliament in efforts to boost healthy work places. This is part of their outreach programme where they visit government ministries, schools and churches.
Dr. Tukia cites overweight as a common problem with MPs and staff of the Legislative Assembly.
An overweight person’s body has to work harder to keep all body parts working properly. This can wear out parts of the body like the heart, bones and joints and increases risks of getting heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Hence, Speaker and Clerk of the House have made arrangement with the Ministry of Health for an exercise programme for Parliament’s MPs and staff starting next month.