Current long term care system for elderly
Long term care services for the elderly in Singapore are provided mainly through voluntary welfare organizations (VWO) or the “third sector”, and by private operators; under a mix of funding schemes that are still largely led by the government.
Program and nature of coverage
In Singapore, long term elderly care is available through both a range of institutional services (community hospitals, chronic sick hospitals, nursing homes and inpatient hospice care) and home and community based programs (home medical, home nursing and home hospice care services).1,2,3
Nature of benefit coverage
In addition, under the national disability insurance scheme (ElderShield), elderly dependents are provided a monthly payout (in the event of loss of ability to perform at least three of the six activities of daily living.
Source of funding
The long term care cost is financed through a mix of savings (Medisave, individual contribution-based national medical savings scheme), disability insurance (ElderShield), and medical insurance for potentially costly acute episodes and hospitalizations (mainly MediShield, a low cost national medical insurance scheme).
Reforms initiated/ future direction
Singapore’s Ministry of Health has been focusing on long term care, with the objective to provide holistic, accessible and quality care for the elderly population. Singapore is expanding and enhancing its home and community based care, to facilitate ‘aging-in-place’ and better support its caregivers through an integrated care system. Initiatives in this direction include the following:
- Increasing the number of day care centers offering integrated care services to the elders
- Improving access to services such as nursing and rehabilitative services and dementia management programs.
1Singapore Healthcare System, Ministry of Health Singapore
Accessed 8 May 2012.
2Long-term care for the aged in developed Asia; takeaways for developing Asia?, Asian Trends, November 23, 2011
Accessed 10 June 2012.
3Insufficient care given to the elderly and chronically ill in Singapore, Sgpolitics, April 27, 2012
Accessed 10 May 2012.