The first operator to run "three in one" eldercare services - nursing home, senior care centres and home care - will be in Ang Mo Kio and Hougang.
Under the Integrated Operator Scheme, first announced in April, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will appoint such operators to encourage services to be integrated and achieve economies of scale, so they are more affordable.
The first call for proposals was made by MOH last month on government procurement website GeBiz, and the locations given.
The appointed integrated operator would have to run facilities at three sites:
- A senior care centre at Block 364, Upper Serangoon Road (in the Hougang Meadow Housing Board estate);
- A senior care centre in the same location as a polyclinic at 21, Ang Mo Kio Central 2 ; and
- An eldercare facility, comprising a nursing home with a senior care centre, at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3.
These will be built and owned by MOH, and leased to the appointed operator to run.
MOH told Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao that it decided to pilot the integration scheme in central Singapore "in view of immediate needs and ready sites". It may extend it to other parts of the country, "subject to market conditions".
We know the people in the area and we've had some economies of scale, so I think we can meet the required quality standards. Operators may be able to offer more holistic care through this scheme and this could help free up beds in acute hospitals too.
MR LEE KIM SIANG, chairman of Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society, on his group's intention to put in a bid for the operator tender.
This is part of the ministry's efforts to provide quality and affordable care to the elderly as the population ages, with those aged 65 and above expected to double to 900,000 by 2030.
The senior care centres in the three sites will provide daycare, dementia daycare and rehabilitation services, and can serve a total of about 200 seniors a day.
The nursing home will provide nursing and rehabilitation care to patients who need more time to recover after being discharged from hospital, and will have an estimated 180 beds.
Home care services will also be provided out of these facilities to about 200 frail and home-bound elderly residents living in the area.
The facilities are being constructed and scheduled to be run from 2018.
MOH said in its tender that it hopes to appoint the operator that can "best... integrate the different forms of aged care services so that seniors can receive continuous, seamless and person-centric care even as their care needs evolve".
It said the appointed operator should also work closely with the National Healthcare Group, which manages the polyclinic in the second site, to provide coordinated care. Non-profit and commercial players can bid for the tender, which closes on Feb 3 next year.
Mr Lee Kim Siang, chairman of Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society, which has several eldercare centres in Ang Mo Kio, said the group intends to put in a bid.
He said: "We know the people in the area and we've had some economies of scale, so I think we can meet the required quality standards.
"Operators may be able to offer more holistic care through this scheme and this could help free up beds in acute hospitals too."