More hospitals by year 2030

SINGAPORE - More hospitals, polyclinics and subsidised medical services. These are what the Ministry of Health (MOH) promised during the Budget debate in Parliament yesterday.

Govt to take on more costs

The Government will be raising its share of health-care expenditure from about 30 per cent now to 40 per cent, or possibly even more, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.

The remaining costs will be accounted for by employers, Medisave, insurance payouts and cash from patients.

Mr Gan said this will help to reduce the impact of rising health-care costs for Singaporeans, especially those from lower- and middle-income groups.

More health-care facilities

Singaporeans can expect more hospital beds, which could help cut waiting times.

MOH is looking to build another four acute hospitals and up to 14 more polyclinics by 2030.

This is on top of the additional six general and community hospitals that will be ready by 2020. For instance, the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital in Jurong will start serving patients at the end of next year.

More elderly-care workers

To support Singapore's expanding aged-care sector, MOH expects to increase the manpower serving it from 4,000 workers in 2010 to 15,000 in 2020.

Medisave fee waiver

Patients making Medisave claims will not need to pay the Medisave transaction fee from next month. The fee will be absorbed by MOH. Currently, a fee of about $3 is charged for each Medisave claim made.

Respite for caregivers

Caregivers who need a break will soon be able to place their seniors in a nursing home for a short period.

MOH will be working with a few nursing homes to set aside beds for this purpose. Patients can enjoy up to a 75 per cent subsidy. The pilot will be rolled out over the next two years, starting in the second quarter of this year.

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