Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong asked the Minister for Health (a) in the past year, how many caregivers who have benefitted from the Caregivers Training Grant are specialised caregivers who provide care for specific illnesses or disabilities; (b) how much do the specialised caregivers receive on average; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider increasing the grant quantum for specialised caregivers.
Mr Gan Kim Yong: The Caregivers’ Training Grant was introduced in 2007 to support caregivers of seniors who are 65 years or older and persons with disabilities with up to $200 each year to attend caregiver training courses. To date, more than 32,000 caregivers have benefited from this grant.
In FY2015, caregivers who used the grant to attend courses pertaining to conditions such as dementia, autism, dyslexia or intellectual disabilities made up about 40% of the 6,000 caregivers who have used the grant to-date. The average annual utilisation by these caregivers was $116 per grant recipient in FY2015.
We do not have plans to increase the grant quantum at the moment, as the current grant of $200 per annum is generally adequate. Today, about 80% of all approved caregiver training courses cost $200 or less. The average annual utilisation per grant recipient has remained at about $160 for the past five years.
We will continue to monitor the adequacy of the grant.