Low-income patients to get 75% hospital subsidy

PHOTO: Low-income patients to get 75% hospital subsidy

SINGAPORE - Lower-income patients will receive a 75 per cent government subsidy in community hospitals.

Those above the median income, who previously did not receive any subsidy, will now receive a 20 per cent to 50 per cent subsidy.

Subsidies for nursing homes, day care and rehabilitation facilities and home-based care packages will also be raised so that more in the middle-income group can benefit.

About 80 oer cent of elderly will qualify for these subsidies.

For example, a middle-income family with an elderly parent at a private nursing home will see its costs reduced to $1,700 from $2,800 with these new subsidies.

A $120 grant per month will also be offered to families hiring a foreign domestic helper to help care for elderly family members who have severe dementia, or are immobile and unable to care for themselves.

This is on top of the $95 concession in the Foreign Domestic Worker Levy that all households with elderly persons will continue to enjoy.

Further, home modifications such as grab bars and anti-slip treatment for bathroom tiles will also be subsidized through a new programme, the "EASE" (Enhancement for Active Seniors) Programme.

Each citizen household with an elderly member can get home modifications worth around $2,000. They will pay no more than $250 themselves.

About 130,000 households are expected to benefit from this scheme.

GST for long term care will also be absorbed for subsidised patients in community hospitals, nursing homes and other home-care services.