National Solidarity Party calls for more affordable nursing homes in Singapore

SINGAPORE - The National Solidarity Party (NSP) has called for nursing homes in Singapore to be made more affordable for the middle-income group, amid a trend of Singaporeans turning to Malaysia for cheaper nursing home alternatives.

"With the Government committed to building more nursing homes and subsidies for the lower income group, NSP hopes that nursing homes may be made more affordable to the middle-class group," said the party's secretary-general Tan Lam Siong in a statement on Friday.

He referred to a March 15 report in The Sunday Times that said a growing number of infirm Singaporeans have been admitted to nursing homes in Johor Baru, where prices can be half of those in Singapore.

The NSP is concerned about the implications if this trend develops further, he added.

One concern was that citizens should be able to live out their days in Singapore.

"Whilst we make provisions for new citizens and foreigners to settle down in Singapore, it would be a sad day indeed if our aged citizens cannot find a place here to live out their remaining days," said Mr Tan.

The party also asked if many of the Singaporean seniors staying in overseas nursing homes would be missing out on the benefits from the Pioneer Generation Package.

Under the Package, seniors aged 66 and older in 2015 who became citizens before 1987 can get help with their healthcare bills.

Another worry was that having to cross the Singapore-Malaysia border would deter some families from visiting their elderly parents in foreign nursing homes.

Calling for filial piety in Singapore to be strengthened, Mr Tan said: "Every effort put into enabling our citizens to love and care for their aged parents in our own land will go a long way in our determination to build families with strong ties and a nation with strong moral values."