Some nursing home operators raising fees

Some nursing home operators raising fees

SINGAPORE - Due to rising operating costs, at least four nursing home operators are planning to raise their fees, The Straits Times (ST) reported.

The four operators are Lentor Residence, Apex Harmony Lodge, Econ Healthcare Group and Moral Home for the Aged Sick.

Two of the operators, Lentor Residence and Apex Harmony Lodge, said they will be raising fees for only those who are currently receiving government subsidies, while the fees for those paying privately will remain unchanged.

Apex Harmony Lodge's executive director Kevin Poh said the increase coincides with a recent rise in government subsidies for residents, as this means that despite the fee hikes, customers will not feel the pinch of bigger bills.

Last month, the Government raised subsidies for lower-income patients in community hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and day-care centres.

Previously, patients with a per capita family income of more than $1,500 a month were not eligible for subsidies. The income ceiling has now been raised to $2,200. The subsidy amount per family can range from 20 per cent to 75 per cent of the bills, ST said.

Lentor Residence chief executive Jonathan Koh said the higher fees are in response to rising employee salaries, higher foreign worker levy and food inflation.

Econ Healthcare Group agreed that labour costs was one of the reasons for its fee hike, another being the increasing rent and utility costs.

Econ said unlike Lentor and Apex, they will be raising fees for the 70 per cent of its customers who pay privately rather than those on government subsidies.

Moral Home for the Aged Sick was unable to provide the breakdown of the fee hike as it said its prices vary among residents.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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