Review of ElderShield welcomed

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at the National Day Rally that the Health Ministry will review the ElderShield scheme ("Help for longer time likely with ElderShield review"; Aug 22).

I hope that the Government will give more weight to higher subsidies for the scheme, to show more compassion to Singaporeans (especially the poorer ones).

Such an approach would likely contain future cost increases and would go a long way in ensuring older Singaporeans can live through their old age with dignity.

Some enhancements worth considering include:

- ElderShield should be a lifetime insurance. When a person can no longer perform some of the six basic activities, the existing payout duration of up to six years will not solve the fundamental problem.

- Avoid raising the retirement age and Medisave contributions further to pay ElderShield premiums. Perhaps, we can explore more innovative ways to help the state to fund any increase in premiums as a result of enhancements to the scheme.

The idea of an enhanced ElderShield is itself an important step forward to build a better Singapore for the elderly.

Chong Wee Lee