Over the course of their life, the senior citizens of Singapore have contributed immensely to the development of the state in terms of its social, political and economic life. As a sign of appreciation for their efforts, the Singaporean government has created the Pioneer Generation Package, which provides the so-called Pioneer Generation with healthcare benefits. PGP, however, triggers major changes in the budget of the state and, therefore, needs reconsideration. While in the future, the PGP healthcare system can retrieve financial resources from the MediShield and MediSave, it is the enhanced public-private co-innovation that can support the PGP system at present.
Introduction: The Pioneer Generation Package in a Nutshell
The Pioneer Generation Package is offered to the living Singaporeans, who were born before 31 Dec. 1949 and were registered as the citizens of the state before 21 Dec. 1986 (Annex B-1: Pioneer Generation Package, 2014). Introduced into the Singaporean economy in 2014, the specified package offers 50% off subsided treatment, a Pioneer Generation Card and other benefits. The positive aspects of the PGP are obvious, yet substantial problems lie a bit deeper.
The Premises for the Pioneer Generation Package Creation
Created for the Pioneer Generation, i.e., the Singaporean senior citizens, the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP) was created to thank them for the efforts that they made to help build the Singaporean society as people know it today (Pioneer Generation, 2014). Recent reports have shown that a lot of Singaporean elderly people have chronic diseases and disorders, which require regular treatment. The specified treatment is, as a rule, very costly, which means that a lot of senior citizens in Singapore cannot allow it. The Introduction of the GPG system, tough, partially solves the problem of medical assistance unavailability and helps the senior citizens of Singapore enjoy the financial assistance and the health-related services that they deserve.
It should also be noted that the economy of Singapore leaves much to be desired. According to the 2014 data, the basket of goods makes around $110 for an average Singaporean resident (Numbeo, 2014), the cost of monthly utilities may go above $250 easily; to pay for clothing and shows, a Singaporean needs at least $500, and the rent for an apartment will cost at least $2130 per month for one-bedroom outside the city centre (Numbeo, 2014). Needless to say, with such charges for bare necessities, a senior citizen with a Senior Citizen Bonus of $10,000 (GST Offset Package, 2014) has little changes to retrieve sufficient medical help in Singapore.
What Benefits the Pioneer General Package Offers: An Overview
As it has been stressed above, the PGP includes a range of benefits for the senior citizens of Singapore. While primarily, the benefits concern the provision of healthcare services and the access to the required medicine, some of the PGP elements include unique options, which can be interpreted as economic improvements. As a rule, the traditional package includes the following:
- Pioneer Generation card;
- 50% off subsided treatments;
- Annual $1,200 for GP with severe disabilities;
- Annual $200–$800 for essential supplies;
- MediShield Life Premium;
- Medisave top-ups (Pioneer Generation, 2014)
The Stress That Cannot Be Compensated: What Makes the PGP Less Efficient
It should be born in mind, though, that the seemingly impeccable system of the PGP healthcare has a few noticeable dents in it. It should be noted that the PGP could use a lot of improvement since some of the facilities, which the Singaporean senior citizens should have been provided with have not been included in the package. Among the healthcare benefits, which the Singaporean Pioneer Generation has been deprived of, free access to swimming pools should be listed (Ong, 2014).
Addressing the Emerging Issues: PGP and Its Improvement
Though the problem with the PGP system seems rather basic, there are certain avenues for addressing it. First and most obvious, the new system of medical services requires a better and more reliable database for the data concerning the patients to be stored in. There is no need to stress that, in the realm of the 21st century, it is imperative for a state healthcare facility to have a vast, password-protected database of the patients, their health records, their personal information, etc. Another essential step towards the creation of the healthcare services in question concerns obtaining the funds to invest in it. It is supposed that the funds should be obtained from a new form of taxation, which should be developed together with the PGP system (Heng, 2014).
Conclusion: The Pioneer Generation Package and Its Efficacy
It goes without saying that the creation of the PGP is a huge step forward in recognizing the rights and needs of the senior citizens of the state. However, with all due respect to the endeavours of the creators of the PGP, the latter still needs an additional enhancement. It is highly desirable at present that a valid source for funding the PGP system should be located; otherwise, the Singaporean senior citizens will not receive the support of the required quality.
Annex B-1: Pioneer Generation Package. (2014). Singapore Budget. Web.
GST Offset Package. (2014). Frequently asked questions. Ministry of Finance (Singapore). Web.
Heng, J. (2014). MPs voice strong support for Pioneer Generation Package. The Straits Times, A2.
Numbeo. (2014). Cost of living in Singapore. Web.
Ong, A. (2014). Pioneer package good but could be better, say MPs. The Straits Times, B1.
Pioneer Generation. (2014). Overview. Singapore Government. Web.