Mdm Halimah Yacob, Chairperson of the PAP Seniors Group (PAP.SG) has submitted recommendations for Singapore Budget 2016 to the Ministry of Finance and also the Ministry of Health for their consideration.
With Singapore facing an ageing population, more need to be done to help those suffering from severe age-old disabilities and also their families said PAP.SG. Recommending enhancements in three key areas – Review of the ElderShield Scheme; Greater Support for Caregivers and Strengthening the Singaporean Core.
Review the ElderShield Scheme
For ElderShield, PAP.SG suggests
The ElderShield be made a compulsory scheme and to remove the age limit and the exclusion on those with pre-existing illnesses, akin to MediShield Life.
Consolidating the administration of basic ElderShield with a government agency like CPF to optimise the ElderShield risk pool and to arrive at an appropriate actuarial baseline for the scheme
ElderShield payouts should be indexed to inflation and regularly reviewed to ensure that it keeps pace with rising costs of long-term care
Increasing the payout period from the current six years, to the end of life of the beneficiary or for a more reasonable period that is regularly reviewed to keep pace with increased longevity
ElderShield premiums should also be kept affordable
Greater Support for Caregivers
With caregivers forming the backbone of support for the elderly in Singapore, PAP.SG proposes that more consideration and support can be given for this group of Singaporeans.
For the dedication of caregivers, PAP.SG urges the Government to consider giving incentives, either monetary or alternatively through top-ups to their Medisave or Retirement Accounts with a special caregiver grant in recognition of their effort and contribution.
Strengthening the Singaporean Core in the Intermediate and Long-Term Care Sector (ILTC)
MOH projected that the manpower needed in the Intermediate and Long-Term Care Sector (ILTC) will grow to about 15,000 people by 2020. Nurses, therapists and medical social workers will be needed to support this increased demand.
PAP.SG calls on the Government to improve the manpower situation of the ILTC sector through job redesign, training, better pay and career progression paths so that a strong Singaporean core in ILTC can be developed.
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