Monthly payouts for disabled pioneers
BEDRIDDEN or physically disabled pioneers will get some relief from September, when they will start receiving $100 a month from the Government.
Called the Pioneer Generation Disability Assistance Scheme, the payout aims to defray expenses, ranging from home-care services and nursing-home fees to taxi rides.
Pioneers who qualify are those requiring permanent assistance to complete at least three out of six daily-living activities. They include bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, transferring from chair to bed or vice versa, and moving on a level surface.
Some 9,000 seniors currently covered under ElderShield, or receiving subsidies under the Interim Disability Assistance Programme or the Foreign Domestic Worker Grant, will automatically qualify for the payout.
Revealing the details of the scheme at a dialogue with general practitioners (GPs) yesterday, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said her ministry is already working with intermediate and long-term care providers to reach out to those who can start signing up from next month.
The next step, said Dr Khor, will be to involve GPs and voluntary welfare organisations, which will serve as community touch points.
The scheme will be part of the Pioneer Generation Package, which is estimated to benefit some 450,000 Singaporeans.
Noting concerns on the lack of awareness over what the package entails, Dr Khor said efforts are under way to spread the message.
This is already being done through advertisements on television and radio, and educational materials in multiple languages and dialects.
At the dialogue, Dr Khor also fielded questions from GPs about the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas), which provides subsidised outpatient medical care for 650,000 Singaporeans.
Some asked if processing Chas claims can be less cumbersome, while others wondered if the $18.50 claim limit for some people is too low, and whether more subsidies could be given to the needy.
Dr Khor assured them that the scheme is constantly being refined, and that the ministry will continue to study the bill sizes of Chas cardholders to ensure that the claims limit stays appropriate.
She also stressed that there is a limit to how many exceptions can be made.
"If we give so many exceptions, I think it will be very difficult for us to administer, and how can we be sure that it is appropriate?" she asked. "There is a balance we need to strike."