Thursday, June 21, 2012

High nursing home cost over-burdens Singaporeans....




In 1994, the Singapore govt enacted the Maintenance of Parent Act shifting the responsibility of care of the old to their children[Link]. On the surface it looked like something out of Confucian ethics put into law - children should be filial to their parents so we might as well legislate it. So instead of the govt providing a safety net for the old, this was shifted to Singaporeans. A tribunal was setup to allow parents to legally force their children. 


For high income individuals, taking care of their parents isn't really a big issue but that is not the idea of the PAP govt. Their approach has been to push as much of the financial burden of care from the govt to children of the old folks even those in the low income bracket. The biggest strain comes when the parents of low or lower middle income earners need special care - nursing home care or they are sick and need to be hospitalized often. If the person is struggling to take care of his family, the added financial burden of caring for his parents can be extremely challenging to shoulder.

The level of Government subsidy will depend on your family income. With effect from 1 July 2009, the Government subsidy framework for community hospitals has been enhanced from 4 tiers to 9 tiers with subsidy level ranging from 10% to 75%., as shown in the table below. The same framework has taken effect at the hospices from 1 Oct 2009 onwards, and will take effect at the nursing homes, chronic sick facilities and psychiatric homes from 1 Jan 2010 onwards.[Source]




Total Family Income (based on family of 4)
Subsidy Level for Citizens*
< or = $1,440
75%
$1,441 - $2,200
70%
$2,201 - $3,000
60%
$3,001 - $3,800
50%
$3,801 - $4,600
40%
$4,601 - $5,200
30%
$5,201 - $5,400
20%
$5,401 - $5,600
10%
> $5,600
0%
Nursing home stay can cost from $1500 to $3000 depending on the needs of the elderly under care and the quality of care. A man supporting his family of 4 (his father in a nursing home, one child and wife) on a gross income of $1500 will have to pay $450-$900 for the care of his father in a nursing home.

The high cost of nursing home has driven some Singaporeans to send their parents to nursing homes in Johor where the quality of care is generally lower and it is far more difficult for friends and relatives to visit the elderly.

Under the PAP govt, Singapore has the lowest expenditure as a % of GDP on healthcare and  elderly care among developed countries. We have the highest number of millionaires per capita[Link]. As the sale of luxury cars surge to record levels [Link] so has the financial strain on working class Singaporeans. If you watch the video, it tells of a sad situation. Half the people who send their parents to one particular nursing home defaulted on payment. They don't to visit their own parents because they are afraid they will be asked to pay up or bring their parents home. One poor Singaporean abandoned his mother at a nursing home in Johor because he lost his job and can no longer afford the nursing home payments.  This approach pushing responsibility of care for the aged from govt to ordinary Singaporean to amplify the effects of the income gap in Singapore which is the highest among developed countries.

If Singapore is an impoverished state, we may forgive the govt for neglecting old folks and the heavy burden poorer citizens have to shoulder for the care of their parents. However, this not the case for Singapore. The govt spends excessively on defense - far beyond what is necessary to defend  the island. Vast reserves are accumulated and there is limited transparency and accountability in this area. The old folks of today are the ones responsible for creating Singapore's economic miracle - they were the number one workforce in the world and attracted the large foreign investments that propelled our economic growth in our first 3 decades as a nation. Today we have elites that reward themselves with the highest salaries in the world as these old folks are made to take up low paying menial jobs in the last years of their lives. To say this is unconscionable and deplorable is an understatement.

37 comments:

Ng Eng Hou said...

This problem can't be resolved unless we change the government. We see this a problem but they don't, because most people still vote them in.

We will be seeing this more and more often if economic condition worsens.

Kojakbt said...

Hi Lucky,

Minister Lim Swee Say has written this. Since you are good at economics and finance, might want to take a look at this.

Would be good if you can write an article to express your views too with rgd to what Mr Lim has said :)

http://www.tremeritus.com/2012/06/21/towards-higher-wages-higher-productivity-for-all/

Anonymous said...

"Today we have elites that reward themselves with the highest salaries in the world as these old folks are made to take up low paying menial jobs in the last years of their lives."
Lucky Tan

But fortunately for PAP, 60% do not see this as an issue not to vote PAP.

And in opposition stronghold Hougang, the % and number of votes for PAP in BE 2012 even improved compared to GE 2011!!

So why should the PAP care what Lucky Tan said about high nursing home costs and overburden to poor Singaporeans!

And what is this high nursing cost and overburden when it is just only one of the many burdens and issues facing Singaporeans?

Anonymous said...

"Under the PAP govt, Singapore has the lowest expenditure as a % of GDP on healthcare and elderly care among developed countries."
Lucky Tan

Lucky Tan, do you know any other developed country where the ruling party has 93% seats in Parliament?

Anonymous said...

"One poor Singaporean abandoned his mother at a nursing home in Johor because he lost his job and can no longer afford the nursing home payments."
Lucky Tan

I think these are isolated cases, a minority of the minority.

Because I believe the majority of Singaporeans can still afford to care for their aged parents, whether at home or in old folks home.

Or at least the aged parents themselves have enough money to stay in old folks homes in Singapore.

If not ah, these aged parents or their children would be so frustrated until they will sure vote opposition what, right or not.

But if it is only 40% or less and does not become worse, then OK for PAP what, right or not?

Anonymous said...

"If not ah, these aged parents or their children would be so frustrated until they will sure vote opposition what, right or not."
Anon 21/6/12 13.29

Not necessary. They can be very frustrated with PAP but will still vote PAP.

Just like there are many people who are very frustrated with their job but still remain in their job.

So same thing applies for voting PAP lah.

Veritas said...

Today, maid is instrumental in taking care of the old. Ask, the spoiled Singaporean girl to collect shit and wipe pee of old and see what you get?

The old are kept at home because of maid, not because of good sons and daughters. PAP's fucking education and social engineering has destroy all family values and pushes woman to work.

In the not too long future, the maid will going to be exorbitant expensive as our neighbour develops. Today, the top destination for maid is HK, Norway and other western countries, not Singapore.

And worse, PAP's extractive economic policies requires working couples to even barely sustain mortgage payment. If one of the spouses stays at home, soon the HDB is going to be foreclose. I see our future bleak.

Today, its either PAP destroys us or we destroys PAP.

Anonymous said...

Hello everybody!
I'm a Millionaire from the Pretend Action Party.
I'm here to serve you.

Please vote for me at the next edition of "Who wants to be a Millionaire" in GE 2016.

I know 60% of you will do so.
Daft assholes.

Anonymous said...

"I think these are isolated cases, a minority of the minority."
Arsehole @ 21/6/12 13:29

One case happening is one case too many.

You must be a bloody arsehole Millionaire-In-White.

Anonymous said...

http://www.baldingsworld.com/2012/06/20/the-importance-of-economic-capture-and-government-surpluses/

A good follow up by C.Balding on the importance of govt surpluses.

---

Amused said...

Christopher Balding has brought up a lot of good questions.

The Singapore (PAP) government has been cost shifting public and social spending to its people. For example, parents supplement their children's public education with private tuition. Retirement/CPF funds are redirected to housing and health care needs.

It is high time the government answers to its people why they are not getting their money's worth after so many years of forced savings.

Veritas said...

According the Chris Balding, if PAP's number is true, we should have S$2.1 Trillion of reserve. That is S$2,100,000,000,000. Or each Singaporean entitled reserve of S$700,000.

Can you imagine a government sitting on top of the highest reserve in the whole world per capita letting those old man who earn them languish.

If the government of "much poorer" countries like Norway, Denmark...etc can take care of its old and prosper much better than us in terms of technology, we cant we?

This must be a wicked government for doing this.

If PAP's number are lies, we need to ask ourselves where those monies goes or is our reserve bankrupted.

And who knows it goes into swiss bank account of our elites.

Anonymous said...

Do Millionaires-In-White have sociopathic tendencies?

so·ci·o·path (noun Psychiatry)
a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sociopath


Antisocial Personality Disorder is also known as psychopathy or sociopathy. Individuals with this disorder have little regard for the feeling and welfare of others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

Serve Them Right 活該! said...

"The old folks of today are the ones responsible for creating Singapore's economic miracle"

The old folks of today were also the one responsible for supporting PAP's imprisonment of Chia Thye Poh for 32 years and the imprisonment, without trial, of several hundreds politicians and trade union leaders under Operation Cold Store. They were still supporting PAP when it first implemented the Maintenance of Parent Act in 1994. So who can they blame for the lack of politicians to speak up for them, the lack of independent trade union to ensure they need not work as hawker centre cleaner for meagre wage, and the Maintenance of Parent Act itself? They have only themselves to blame, all these 老家伙!

Anonymous said...

"A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once."
William Faulkner

GE 2016.
Will you join us?

Anonymous said...

"Thursday, Jun 21, 2012
my paper
No. of S'pore millionaires dips
By Reico Wong
Singapore triumphed Hong Kong as Asia's home for the wealthy, even as the number of high- net-worth individuals here fell 7.8 per cent to 91,200 last year."

Wow! 91,200 millionaires out of 5M people! Meaning about 2 persons out of every 100 are millionaires ( net worth at least US$1M, excluding property.

And 5M includes babies and students, so if just consider only working adults or adults, definitely more than 2 millionaires out of every 100 adults.

Maybe even among the aged and retirees, there are many millionaires.

So what high nursing home cost burden, where at least majority 60% are rich?

Anonymous said...

I think we need to accept things as they are in this country. PAP is right and always right. There is no point to try to reason with these people as they're not about objectivity; they're about holding power.

A PAP party member's mind is the exact mind as a moslem, a christian or a jewish rabbi. They're hardened. Their egos are hardened too. Inflated yet fragile. How do you reason with a dogmatic christian or moslem? How to have a discussion about dogmas?

Once you get that, you'll understand why the PAP is deaf.

This state of affairs in this will remain for at least 10 years.

People are unhappy and disgusted. Today, so many of chinese singaporeans speak ill of the PRCs here. They dislike them vehemently because China is loud and dirty and PRCS cheat people. That's how it is in China. So we chinese singaporeans hate them.

BUt I don't see things changing. It's all up to the young SIngaporeans.

I don't see PAP changing its ways. I only see that singaporeans will become a confused lot. They are asking: "What Singaporeans?"

You cannot force a people to accept foreigners that easily. It won't happen. If their numbers were small, it's alright. BUt they're everywhere. 2.2 million of them. How do you expect Singaporeans to accept this?

Even so, 60.1% Singaporeans said yes to overcrowding. It makes you wonder where is the social identity of this 60.1%?

Today, being a Singaporean is not something we use to be proud of. Citizenship is over-rated.

As you read this, I'm in plane leaving Singapore for good in another country.

Good luck and all the best everyone. I won't forget the island but I do wish all who are left behind that have the courage to vote wisely for your own good and your children.

I chose to vote with my feet instead.

Lye Khuen Way said...

Pathetic is it not, for Singapore to have such scheme?
1st Class Country / City State my foot!

It is ok. We have slowly come to realized if all the gunho praises either from our own Govt, the MSM or even some semingly independent foreign rating organisations are Real or not.

Call me cynical, ungrateful, ignorant.
No problem.

The Truth - Hard Truth is beginning to emerge.

All the 'sorry', promise to be 'inclusive' were plain stop gap remedies prior to GE 2011 .

The cans have been kicked furthur down that slippery road and I fear for my children & their children if they could not help it by stick by in this Red Dot we once we proud of.

Anonymous said...

The old grandfather clock will be needing a nursing home or mansion soon.

Can't be all bad.

Anonymous said...

"Serve Them Right 活該!said...
"The old folks of today are the ones responsible for creating Singapore's economic miracle"

The old folks of today were also the one responsible for supporting PAP's imprisonment of Chia Thye Poh for 32 years and the imprisonment, without trial, of several hundreds politicians and trade union leaders under Operation Cold Store. They were still supporting PAP when it first implemented the Maintenance of Parent Act in 1994. So who can they blame for the lack of politicians to speak up for them, the lack of independent trade union to ensure they need not work as hawker centre cleaner for meagre wage, and the Maintenance of Parent Act itself? They have only themselves to blame, all these 老家伙!

21/6/12 15:26"

I completely agree with the above anon. Completely. These old folks were the ones who allowed the PAP to inflict thought control, police their opinions and rights.

And today, they have no one to support them, ceteris paribus.

They looked in silence when LKY did all those things.

They were the rats in their younger days. Fighting selfishly in their youths, and now they have to selfishly fight for themselves in their dying years.

They allowed PAP to put them on a rat race. And they came out as rats. Now, the rats are about to die. But the ratmaster has already retired long ago.

If the younger Singaporeans don't learn this, soon it'll be their turn and they'll be too old and too tired to fight back.

They will say what all the old folks are saying now: "At my age, what can we do?"

Younger Singaporeans should take heed and be mindful that they need to speak up for what is right.

I have no respect for fuckers like Vikram Nair 'cos he didn't serve NS. Who the fook is he to be my MP when he knows nuts about National Service?

He doesn't even serve reservist, mind you. You call this meritocracy? Or is it leetocracy?

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between meritocracy and Nazi ideology?

ANSWER:
None.
It's all about being anti-people.
Nazis want to exterminate the Jews.

Meritocracy is about excluding the non-elites (i.e. non Pro Alien Party members) from Singapore.

Anonymous said...

The sponsorship package given to foreign students amounting to S$140m/year shows that native Singaporeans are not the government target.

Instead, we ourselves are considered as burden of the government.

Anonymous said...

I hope NTUC would live up to the aspirations of its late leader,President Ong TC.

Anonymous said...

With so much wealth, how can the government abandoned our founding generation. At every GE Lee Kuan Yew promised Singaporeans a good life and secure retirement. He did not fulfilled his promise, not for lack of resources for we have plenty of reserves. He is heartless. To me the papist elites are behaving more like evil monsters.

Anonymous said...

To put the record straight, Mr Ong Teng Cheong is a good man but when he was a minister under Lee Kuan Yew, he failed to live up to his good intention. He just followed the monster. It was only when they decided not to back him for a second term for President that he woke up and blew the whistle on what an evil government we have.

Anonymous said...

Don't put too much hope on the 2.1 trillion of reserves lah. Most of these have already gone down the drain through failed investments. The casinos may be a last gasp strategy to try to recoup some of these investment losses. However, we should still make them account every cent of the reserves that should be there.

Anonymous said...

ANON: 21/6/12 21:18
"With so much wealth, how can the government abandoned our founding generation. At every GE Lee Kuan Yew promised Singaporeans a good life and secure retirement. He did not fulfilled his promise, ..."

Text of Speech from the movie "The Great Dictator"

"By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power,
but they lie!
They do not fulfill their promise; they never will.
Dictators free themselves,
but they enslave the people!!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IvPIWzQcUY

Anonymous said...

The Maintenance of Parents Act is not the only scheme to shift responsibility of the state to provide welfare to the aged to the children.

Look at the way they amended CPF regulations. First they banned full withdrawal @ age 55, implemented minimum sum and now they replacing Minimum Sum with CPF Life. Shifting the responsibility of maintaining those who live longer to those who die younger.

Do our PAP leaders even have any human conscience left including our Monster Mentor ?

Anonymous said...

The government is only interested when you are useful to them, in terms of economics, social, defense etc. You are expected to be self reliant in your old age. Therefore think carefully when they ask you to procreate, to replace population. They only need younger taxpayers n caregivers for their aged parents in future.

Anonymous said...

I have no problems with "I am responsible for myself. PAP government does not owe me a living."

All I'm asking is for the Millionaire Ministers to stop hindering me from being self reliant.

Minister of State Tan Chuan-Jin:
"What is quite clear, is that while everyone needs to plan for his or her own retirement needs, the state needs to ensure that via the CPF, we can provide a basic level of adequacy for most, especially for our lower income Singaporeans."

http://momsingapore.blogspot.sg/2012/05/being-retirement-ready.html

This is the problem with the Pretend Action Party's anti-people policy.

The Millionaire Minister does not want to help Singaporeans with our retirement needs.
But he wants to "double confirm" by controlling our CPF money.

What the fuck?
You don't want to help.
You pay yourself millions in salary for not helping Singaporeans.
And you want to make sure your "not helping efforts" will be successful by withholding my CPF money.

If you don't want to help.
Just get the fuck out of the way completely.
Keep your fucking hands of my CPF money.
Stop interfering with my efforts to be self reliant.
I don't want to pay you million dollar salary & pension for your fucking interference.

You can't even contain a limping terrorist on one of the smallest islands in the world.
Or regulate and manage a small MRT and bus network for that matter.
What makes you think you know what is best for me and my CPF money?

Anonymous said...

Indeed the most worst of in sg society are the poor and lower middle class. The poor have to struggle with peanut wages and back breaking jobs whereas the lower middle class have 0% subsidies, and compete with FT for PMET jobs at decreasing real wages.

Xianlong said...

The way the pap treats senior citizens who helped built up the country is excellent marketing effort. It advertises to new potential citizens how they will be treated when they too turn old in this tiny island.

It also advertises to recruits & make the bmt pass-out parade at marina floating platform useless as is a glimpse how pap will treat those old ROD soldiers when they are old.

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out,as a matter of fact, that it is not high nursing home "COST" that over-burdens singaporeans, it is the high nursing home "FEES". The costs are relatively low compared to the fees charged by private nursing homes. Pls check out all the relevant facts before conclusion. We need to learn not to bark up the wrong trees sometimes.

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