The generosity of the Government was also publicised in the Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) offer of help for Eldercare subsidies. A targeted 5,600 households are supposed to benefit from a 25 percent subsidy to offset day care and home help costs for the elderly. The take up rate for this scheme has yet to be reported.
A quick check with the Eldercare Service Locator at the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) website shows that most of the centres are "Voluntary Welfare Organisations not under Government Subsidies". Those that qualify for subsidies are under the "MOH Purview". Which presumably means subject to the much detested MOH Means Test that Minister Khaw Boon Wan said will not be introduced during the 2006 electoral hustings, but quietly implemented after the election was over.
For those looking for a leg up with a nursing home, there are other hoops to jump through. Patients have to be graded Category I through IV, using following sample parameters to assess qualification for assistance:
- Mobility dependency
- Feeding dependency
- Grooming and Bathing dependency
- Toileting dependency
- Cognitive or mental issues
- Nursing care needs
The transport vouchers amount to $4 million, the MCYS effort is estimated at $5 million. These are big numbers for those in dire need of financial assistance to offset the $300 to $500 per month charges at the 22 day care centres that presumably qualify for Government subsidy. Nursing homes charge more, as much as $2,000 a month. Compare the largess set aside for the citizens to the $4 million paid to a Mr Tan annually, and another $4 million budgeted for the upkeep of the Istana. What was the descriptive used by Mrs Goh Chok Tong? Peanuts.