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Volunteers to get the word out to Merdeka Generation

Ambassadors to visit community spaces and their workplaces to explain package to them

Cara Wong on 25 Mar 2019

The Straits Times


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Seniors can soon find out more about the Merdeka Generation Package from Silver Generation Ambassadors at their workplaces or nearby community spaces such as hawker centres.


This new outreach approach complements the current method of home visits by ambassadors, as there is a need to adopt new methods to better engage with Merdeka Generation members, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said yesterday.


Unlike those in the Pioneer Generation, the Merdeka Generation members, born in the 1950s, are likely to be more well-educated, in better health, and hence more active in the community, she said.


"What the Silver Generation Office (SGO) is doing is to bring engagement sessions down to workplaces where many of the Merdeka Generation are still working, as well as to community nodes which the Merdeka Generation are likely to frequent," said Dr Khor.


A study had shown that 61 per cent of those aged between 60 and 64 were still working.


While the percentage dropped to 41 per cent for those aged between 65 and 69 who were still working, it was still higher than the proportion of Pioneer Generation members who worked, which stood at 19 per cent, said Dr Khor.


Pioneer Generation members are those born before 1950, and who attained citizenship before 1987.


Dr Khor was speaking on the sidelines of a workplace engagement session by the SGO at ComfortDelGro's office in Sin Ming Drive.


The transport company currently has more than 10,000 drivers or relief drivers who were born between 1950 and 1959.


"Working with ComfortDelGro to have these group briefings at the workplace makes it easier and more convenient for Merdeka Generation drivers," said Dr Khor.


At the event yesterday, volunteers hosted a group briefing as well as one-on-one clinic sessions, where they explained the package to taxi drivers.


Under the Merdeka Generation Package, an estimated 500,000 eligible seniors will enjoy annual Medisave top-ups of $200 from this year until 2023, and will pay less at polyclinics, public specialist outpatient clinics or clinics under the Community Health Assist Scheme.


Taxi driver Haniff Mahbob, 67, said he felt the sessions were insightful as the brochures and talks gave a clear idea of the benefits that he could enjoy.


"They explained it in a way that is easy to understand," he said, adding that he looked forward to receiving the annual Medisave top-ups.


These workplace engagement sessions are expected to run from now until the end of next year, said Dr Khor, noting that the SGO has lined up more than 50 such sessions with various organisations such as Keppel Offshore & Marine.


Engagement sessions, including those at community places such as hawker centres and faith-based organisations, will be ramped up from next month.


Dr Khor added: "Let me assure the Merdeka Generation that we will handhold them to help them understand... how they can benefit from it (the package)."


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.



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