Time to review subsidies for poor in nursing homes

From Leong Sze Hian
04:46 AM Jun 29, 2012
I refer to reports that about half of the 110 patients in a home for the elderly had defaulted on their payments, which range from about one to two months.

If about half of the patients are in default in one nursing home, how many in total are in default in Singapore?

According to the Ministry of Health website, the maximum subsidy for patients in nursing homes is 75 per cent for total family income (based on a family of four) of S$1,440 or lower. The subsidy gradually declines to zero for total family income (based on a family of four) of more than S$5,600.

How is a family with total income of less than S$1,440 able to afford to pay the 25 per cent balance, which I understand is about S$400 a month, after the subsidy?

So, is it any wonder that so many families are defaulting on their payments?

I would like to suggest that the subsidy for needy patients be reviewed.

Also, how much of the charity donations of S$896 million last year went towards helping needy patients?

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.