MOH to provide more support for middle income households with elderly

Households with a maximum income of S$2,200 per family member are now qualified to receive government subsidies for elderly healthcare services. (Yahoo! photo)Households with a maximum income of S$2,200 per family member are now qualified to receive government subsidies …

To support more elderly to be cared for at home, the qualifying per capita monthly income for subsidies for home and community-based services will be raised from S$1,400 to S$2,200, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday.

Now covering two-thirds of households, subsidies will be raised to as much as 80 per cent, with the middle income seeing the highest increase.

All part of this year's Budget to make healthcare more affordable and accessible to Singaporeans, MOH and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) will spend S$250 million annually, which is about S$60 million more towards the care of some 40,000 elderly.

This represents an increase of about 30 per cent more in subsidies given out per year, benefiting 30 per cent more elderly and served by around 100 healthcare and eldercare providers.

Families with a per capita monthly income of up to S$2,200, which employ foreign domestic workers (FDW) instead of tapping on home help to care for their frail or disabled elderly, will also receive a grant of S$120 per month, on top of the S$95 FDW levy concession.

However, these households will be required to send their foreign maids for relevant training in care giving, which the Centre for Enabled Living (CEL) will provide an annual grant of S$200.

In line with the revised subsidy framework for intermediate and long-term care (ILTC) services, there will also be higher cash payouts for elderly under the Interim Disability Assistance Programme for the Elderly (IDAPE) scheme.

In addition, Goods and Service Tax (GST) charged for healthcare services will be absorbed by MOH for all subsidised patients in MOH-funded ILTC institutions.

MCYS will also adopt the same enhanced subsidy framework.

On MOH's initiatives, Minister of State for Health, Amy Khor said, "The enhancements will not only make aged care more affordable, but also free up charity dollars that have been used to subsidise care, thus allowing more resources for voluntary welfare organisations to scale up their services and enhance the quality of care."

Added Halimah Yacob, Minister of State for MCYS, "With the enhanced subsidies and the absorption of GST, we believe that more families will be encouraged to use community based facilities or care for their frail elderly and adult disabled family members at home."

  • Malaysia welcomes Japan’s bid for HSR project

    TOKYO: Japan’s bid to develop the Malaysia-Singapore High Speed Rail Project (HSR) has been welcomed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. In an interview with Japanese-based media, Nikkie Asian Review, Najib said he welcomed the bid by the Japanese government and believed companies can put in a competitive bid. "Japanese shinkansen and rail technology is very competitive," said Najib who is on a 3-day visit to Japan. He added the funding, operation system technology and rolling stock will be key factors in deciding who wins the project. Bidding companies will need to include long-term financing assistance as well as the technology capability to build and operate the project. "It has to be a total package," said Najib On May 5, Najib, during his official visit to Singapore said leaders of both countries had agreed to re-assess the initial target of a 2020 deadline to complete the project that will connect both countries, given its complexity and scale. Najib said the development of the project will take five years, while the tender and design processes will take a year each, thus it would push the initial target of 2020 further. Malaysia reckons the project will be a "game-changer" in developing rural towns along the route. With shorter traveling time, it may cut the cost of doing business, especially for Singapore-based companies, by attracting workers from Malaysia. Both countries are finalising a feasibility study on the project, estimated at 40 billion Ringgit (US$11 billion). The development of HSR will also see Malaysia playing a major role in Asean and boost regional integration Najib also welcomed Japanese and foreign companies to invest in Malaysia and is ready to offer incentives to smoothen the investment. Malaysia is ready to custom-made incentives for companies that invest in automation and high-technology projects that create jobs for the locals in designated economic development zones in Malaysia. "I would prefer companies to tell us directly if there is any request they have in mind," he said. Malaysia is also supportive of Japan's pledge to offer RM397 billion ($110 billion) to fund infrastructure projects in Asia over the next five years, as these projects will sustain growth and development of the local economies, he added. On the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Najib said the bloc will "foster discussions" with China to resolve the issues peacefully. "We hope the countries that have their interest with respect to the South China Sea will not raise tensions do anything that will lead to instability," he added.

  • Najib takes Shinkansen bullet train to Sendai

    TOKYO: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today had a first-hand experience of Shinkansen, Japan’s renowned bullet train that travels 320km per hour. Accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Najib boarded the Hayabusa 15 Shinkansen train at 10.40am (9.40 Malaysian time) to travel to Sendai city, about 325km from here. The journey took 96 minutes, compared to more than four hours by road. Also present were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa and Ambassador to Japan Datuk Ahmad Izlan Idris. Earlier, Najib and the Malaysian delegation were briefed on the Shinkansen rail service and development around the Tokyo Station by East Japan Railway Company officials, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Tetsuro Tomita. Tetsuro told the Premier that the train he would be travelling to Sendai is using the latest technology. “This is the latest train with the latest technology, it runs 320km per hour. This is the operating speed and safe speed,” he said. Yesterday, Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe said the country wanted to see the Shinkansen technology used in the planned high speed rail project between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. “I hope to see Shinkansen running on Malaysian land,” he told a joint-press conference with Najib after their bilateral meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office. In his response, Najib said he believed that Japan would submit a highly-competitive bid when the time came. Introduced in 1964, the Shinkansen line now spans 2,400 kilometres and runs across Japan. Early this month, Najib and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong reaffirmed that both countries were fully committed to the success of the high speed rail that is expected to reduce the travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to just 90 minutes compared to more than three hours by road now. Besides Japan, several other countries like China, France, South Korea and Germany have shown interest to participate in the project. It was reported here that Japan was also lobbying at introducing the Shinkansen in the high speed rail project between Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand, and Jakarta and Bandung in Indonesia. – BERNAMA AR MIS 26/05/2015 10-48ST

  • Malaysia asks Japan to help in boat people issue

    TOKYO: Malaysia has asked Japan for assistance in handling the Rohingya and Bangladesh boat people issue. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak made this appeal to his counterpart Shinzo Abe after holding bilateral talks this evening. Najib, who is on a three-day visit here, said the issue was not exclusively an Asean problem but one that needed an international solution and intervention. At a joint conference, Abe expressed Japan's interest in the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project. Najib is expected to take a high speed train ride to Sendai some 300km from here tomorrow. He will also be briefed on Japan's famous Shinkanzen network of high speed rail. At the conference, both leaders also announced that they have elevated bilateral ties to that of a "strategic partnership". Under the partnership, Malaysia and Japan will enhance cooperation in five key areas, with the Look East Policy 2.0 playing a prominent role.

Featured Blog Posts