Here is a brief outline on how the Ministerial Committee on Ageing plans to tackle issues on ageing.
~ The Ministry of Manpower will push for legislation in 2012 to encourage companies to hire or retain their older workers.
~ The Ministry of Health will add more than 2000 nursing home beds over the next five years, a second heart and cancer centre, a new general hospital in Yishun and in Jurong and the expansion of the National University Health System’s dental centre.
~ From 2013 the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Life Scheme will be set up to provide contributors a regular income for the rest of their lives.
~ The Housing Development Board (HDB) will increase efforts to raise awareness of their new Lease Buyback Scheme which allows elderly owners of smaller flats to sell to the HDB the tail-end of their lease at market rate. Proceeds will be used to buy an annuity from the CPF Board.
~ All HDB precincts will be barrier-free by 2011.
~ More day-care centres for seniors will be set up in the next five years.
~ Caregivers, including maids who look after the elderly at home, will be given basic training in nursing skills.
~ Within the next 15 to 20 years Singapore will have a fully developed system of 3Es.
1. Elderfund helps the elderly poor pay their hospital bills.
2. Eldershield is insurance for severe disability.
3. Eldersave encourages the young to set aside enough CPF funds to provide for their healthcare needs in their old age.
~ To improve elder care, Singapore will expand its current pool of 200 medical workers and provide them with clinical attachments and postgraduate training.
(The above news snippets were sourced from The Straits Times. Based on the government’s past track record, the future of Singapore’s senior citizens certainly looks promising.)