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  Nursing Homes provide care for any sick person who requires regular nursing care and who is not able to be cared for in his/her own home. These Nursing Homes are either run by voluntary welfare organisations or by private nursing home operators.


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More elderly people left in nursing homes

More old people who are well enough to live at home and attend daily rehabilitation have been left in nursing homes run by voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs).  Checks with 14 VWO-run homes showed every one had at least one such patient. According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), there were a total of 6577 residents in 53 nursing homes at the end of March 2004, compared with 5,955 in 54 nursing homes in 2003, and 4529 in 48 homes in 2000.

Source: Straits Times 3 Jun 2004 (H1)

  Elderly sick people who need to stay at private nursing homes will pay less in 2003 as about S$3 million in subsidies will be set aside for private homes. Health Minister LIM Hng Kiang yesterday said, "As the VWOs are focused on providing care for those in the lower-income groups, the private sector can be the provider of step-down care to the more affluent." The subsidy programme is currently confined to nursing homes run by volunteer welfare organisations (VWOs) for the poor. Average occupancy at VWO homes is 92 per cent and at private homes 80 per cent. There are now 27 VWOs and 24 private homes with 4,800 beds and 1,600 beds respectively. (Straits Times 14 Nov 2002) (3)

  Residents in nursing homes numbered 6,022 last year, up from 3,864 in 1990. The Health Ministry said that between June last year and April this year, there were about 420 people waiting for places in nursing homes. It is working with voluntary welfare organisations (VWO) to build four more nursing homes with 900 beds in total by the end of this year. (Straits Times 7 Aug 2001)(H3)

  The Government yesterday announced several new initiatives, which include a plan to provide subsidies to those who need regular home visits by doctors and nurses. They will receive the same subsidies given to those in a nursing home. It will be made available to the lower 50% of the elderly population. There are about 234,500 people over 65 years old today, 8% of whom suffer from severe disabilities. The new policy will mean that half of this group, or about 10,000 elderly people, could benefit. They will receive subsidies ranging from 25 to 75% of the cost of the care, depending on family income. More will also be helped in the future, given that the elderly population is set to rise from 7% of the population today to 18.4% by 2030. (The Straits Times 5 Jun 2001) (1) 

  In a major shift in the way social services are provided to the needy, the National Council of Social Service has introduced a tender system for voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs). In the past, it would identify the VWO that could best meet the clients' needs and appoint it.  There are 50 agencies that manage caregiver groups. They provide the ill and the elderly with moral and nursing support. The VWOs offering a case management service would also arrange day-care facilities, train caregivers and counsel family members and clients. In return, the VWOs get S$150,000 a year from the council. (Straits Times 4 Jul 2001)