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Explore joint project with JB to meet eldercare needs

Elderly and caregivers at the Pearl's Hill Care Home on Sept 28, 2016.
Elderly and caregivers at the Pearl's Hill Care Home on Sept 28, 2016. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Many elderly citizens here have valid concerns about their ageing issues ("Growing old: Should you be worried"; Nov 6).

During his tenure as health minister, Mr Khaw Boon Wan suggested that Singaporeans could have the option of placing their elderly sick parents in nursing homes in Johor Baru.

It may be necessary to revisit his idea as Singapore races against time to build more nursing homes in our land-scarce nation to meet the needs of the more than 900,000 people aged 65 and above expected by 2030.

There are Singaporeans who, to save on costs, have placed their parents in nursing homes in Johor Baru . The services there are quite good, I am told. With an MRT extension to link Singapore and Johor Baru being planned, it would be a breeze to reach either side.

Thus, the use of nursing homes in Johor Baru is a contingency plan which the Ministry of Health may want to consider.

There are mutual benefits, including economic ones. Tourism will surely get a big boost.

It would be prudent to have an ageing-lifestyle joint project with our immediate neighbour.

With such a tie-up, elderly Singaporeans can also buy affordable retirement homes in Johor Baru.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 27, 2016, with the headline 'Explore joint project with JB to meet eldercare needs'. Print Edition | Subscribe