Haze Subsidy Scheme to be ceased from Nov 23 as dry season ends

SINGAPORE - With the haze situation improving, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that it will cease the Haze Subsidy Scheme with effect from Nov 23.

Since the scheme was reinstated on Sept 16 after the Pollutant Standards Index reached unhealthy levels, around 50,000 haze-related cases have been recorded at polyclinics and some 630 participating Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPC), the MOH said in a statement today.

Under the scheme, those under 18 or over 65 and low- to middle-income earners are eligible for subsidised treatment for haze-related illnesses.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in an update yesterday that the likelihood of the transboundary haze affecting Singapore would be low of the rest of the year, though unfavourable winds could still bring about brief periods of slight haze.

The increase in rain showers over the past two weeks signalled the end of the traditional dry season in the region, the NEA said, thus alleviating the haze situation in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

More rain can be expected in the coming weeks with the onset of the Northeast Monsoon in December, the NEA added.