Sole bid for dementia village rejected as $15 million price offered was too low: MOH, URA

The proposed dementia village seeks to expand the range of care options available for patients.
The proposed dementia village seeks to expand the range of care options available for patients.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The sole bid for a dementia care village occupying 10 bungalows in Sembawang has been rejected by the Government for offering too low a price of $15 million, the authorities said on Tuesday (May 19).

The joint tender, for both concept and price, was submitted by real estate and healthcare company Pre 11 and Orpea Singapore, which provides residential care for the elderly, among other services.

Their idea for a gated community in Gibraltar Crescent where people with dementia can live safely had been accepted by the evaluation committee chaired by the Ministry of Health (MOH), but ultimately failed to win the tender with the price they were willing to offer.

MOH and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said in a statement on Tuesday: "The Government will continue to review the range of options available for seniors to age in place in the community, as well as the viability of a dedicated residential care option for individuals with dementia.

"We will continue to consult public and private sector stakeholders."

The dementia village is part of MOH's efforts to expand the range of care options available for dementia patients here, which currently include daycare, purpose-built nursing homes and eldersit services, where those with dementia are engaged in mind-stimulating activities at home.

Had the tender been awarded, the dementia village would have been the first of its kind in Singapore, where one in 10 people aged 60 and older suffers from the condition.

According to criteria laid out by the authorities, the services provided by the village would have been "less medicalised and more enabling".

The 10 large bungalows in the 30-year tender stand on two plots of land with a total area of 28,000 sq m.

Symptoms of dementia include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. Although its progression can be slowed, it cannot be reversed and, when severe, could affect a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.

MOH had said in a forum letter to The Straits Times in July last year that the dementia care village model could potentially be adapted for different environments and help improve care services in both subsidised and non-subsidised facilities.