7 new nursing homes as part of plan to meet needs of aging population

Work on seven new nursing homes will begin next year as part of a bigger plan to ramp up the supply of such facilities across the island.

Two will be in Henderson Street and Chai Chee Street, according to documents obtained by The Straits Times.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed that an 11-storey nursing home will be built in Chai Chee Street, opposite Bedok North Road. This will add 340 beds to the area, said a spokesman.

In Henderson Road, a five-storey facility will be built next to the Moral Welfare Home. It will have about 250 beds. Both facilities are due to be completed in the next 17 months.

These moves are part of a national plan to raise the number of nursing homes and help Singapore cope with an ageing population.

MOH will increase the number of nursing home beds to 17,150 by 2020, up from 10,000 now.

Other areas lined up for new nursing homes include Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8 and Choa Chu Kang North 6.

The ministry spokesman said it hopes to start building seven such homes in total next year.

It will construct the facilities, but some will be leased out later to health-care operators to run. MOH said in August that it might also run three to four of its own nursing homes.

The new facilities in Chai Chee and Henderson could also offer day-care services for the elderly.

"We will work with the operators of these two nursing homes to provide day-care services, so as to support caregivers living in the community," said the ministry spokesman.

Marine Parade GRC MP Tan Chuan- Jin, who oversees the Kembangan-Chai Chee ward, said the new home "would be useful".

"Chai Chee and the surrounding areas do have proportionately more elderly (people). It would be able to better support residents and their families when the need for this arises," said Mr Tan, who is Manpower Minister.

Telok Blangah resident Amy Han, 39, said the new nursing home would benefit the many elderly living in the mature estate. Even so, she is loath to give up the big grassy patch on which the facility will be built.

"I have no issues with the nursing home. I just find that there are too many buildings here," she said.

Mr Jimmy Khoo, 78, whose Telok Blangah Road flat will be directly opposite the facility once it is completed, said having it "close to home" would be good.

"This is an old estate with a lot of old folk. My neighbours are all about my age, so it is good to have a nursing home here," said Mr Khoo, who lives with his wife and daughter.

"You never know what will happen, although I sure hope I won't have to use it."


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