Singaporeans born between 1950 and 1959 can soon benefit from a new healthcare package, with full details to be announced in 2019, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday (19 August).
Speaking during the English portion of the annual National Day Rally, Lee said that the package will cover similar areas as the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP), which was launched in 2014 for those born in or before 1949.
The new package, to be called the Merdeka Generation Package, will cover areas such as outpatient subsidies, MediSave top ups, MediShield Life premium subsidies, and payouts for long term care. It will benefit some 500,000 Singaporeans.
Lee paid tribute to the so-called Merdeka Generation – “I am proud to be one of them” – who lived through the “tumultuous years” of the 1950s and early 1960s. The Malay word ‘Merdeka’ alludes to the rallying cry of the time, “One word that meant so much – liberation, freedom, independence.”
“They accepted hardships, made sacrifices, answered the call of duty, and worked with their leaders to build a better tomorrow,” said the 66-year-old, whose voice was quavering with emotion. The men among them belonged to the earliest batches who served National Service, which began in 1967, he added.
“The benefits will not be as large as for the Pioneer Generation, who had much less advantage in life. But the Merdeka Generation Package will go some way to relieve their healthcare worries,” noted Lee.
The Prime Minister revealed that some 450,000 members of the Pioneer Generation have benefited from the PGP so far, with $1.3 billion of the $8 billion allocated for the PGP being spent.