Welcome package with 'white card' for pioneers

ALL 450,000 members of the pioneer generation will be sent a welcome package next month, and for about 30,000 of them, it will be specially hand-delivered to their door by the postman.

This is as their mailboxes are too small, said Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor yesterday at a visit to the printing plant where they are being prepared.

"We want to ensure that we will be able to deliver the packages on time," said Dr Khor, who is the co-chair of the Pioneer Generation Taskforce with Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport Josephine Teo.

Among other materials, each welcome package will contain a white card, with their name, identification number and a barcode, identifying them as one of the pioneers - those who are 65 years old and above this year, and became a citizen before 1987.

This card allows them to enjoy subsidies at polyclinics, specialist outpatient clinics, and participating GP and dental clinics under the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas).

For those who have missed the cut to be a pioneer and want to appeal, the 10-member appeals panel is working out an approach to assess them, said Mrs Teo.

About 20 per cent of the 700 calls made weekly to the Central Provident Fund hotline are from people who are appealing. Most of the pioneers have also received their Medisave accounts top-ups this month of $200 to $800 a year.

About 900, or 0.2 per cent, have not received their share as they do not have a Medisave account, said Mrs Teo.

"We have reached out to grassroots organisations, to make contact with as many of these pioneers as possible," she said. rachelay@sph.com.sg

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