Singapore has introduced the Special Employment Credit Scheme

The educators and employers in Singapore are very happy and support the plan of Government to start the Special Employment Credit and Workfare Income Supplement for graduates who are studying in SPED (Special Education) schools.

The Deputy Prime Minister and the Finance Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced about this initiative when he gave the recent budget speech.

Some students have started working in the shops or companies. Shop owners or companies provide these students training which helps them in sharpening their skills and hence will be beneficial for the future. The students are also enjoying working and some of the owners said that the students do their work with concentration and do not waste their time in talking with each other.

Officials of the company are very happy and are planning to hire more students from SPED schools. Also the Deputy Prime Minister has said that the employers who will be giving employment to the SPED students, will be given Special Employment Credit. According to the sources, the employers will get the credit of 16 percent of the employee’s wages. But the HR department of the company claims that the their focus is not on the incentives part but on the skills of the students. If the students are performing good, they will definitely would like to employ more. This programme is beneficial for the students as well as the organizations.

Also some people believe that the extension of the Workfare Income Supplement to SPED students will help students in becoming independent at such an age.

Helpful Singapore

Singapore is coming up with initiatives to help students who belong to disadvantaged backgrounds in order to provide them the facilities so they also feel the same as their peers feel.

Heng Swee Keat , the Education Minister of Singapore, claims that the plans on this initiatives will be rolled out in the meeting of the Budget.Mr Heng, decided to take such initiatives after he visited the Kheng Cheng School in Toa Payoh.He added that the key for bringing improvement in the educational system is to learn various learning profiles and to analyze the different groups of students that how they learn. After understanding the current learning styles adopted by different students, then only the teachers can mould their teaching styles in order to make students learn better.

According to the sources, the qualifying income ceiling for the Education Ministry’s Financial Assistance Scheme has been hiked to $2,500 from $1,500 per month. Hence, this will cater around 40,000 more students who belong to low income families and hence their student life and career will not be affected as every education facility will be provided to the students.

With increase in money in Education Ministry’s Financial Assistance Scheme, more money will be given to committees in Schools in order to introduce and promote more student programmes that will in turn increase their quality of life.

Also the Education Ministry will take some steps that will allow different communities to participate in order to contribute more money and skills.

Good News!! Singapore to increase subsidies for healthcare sector

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that there will be higher subsidies for the healthcare sector. There are many centers and providers that are included in this sector. Some of them are nursing homes and home-based care providers, elder care centers etc.

Talking about the community hospitals, they will now be free to use the charity dollars with the decision of increase in the subsidies. But how the community hospitals like Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital, Bright Vision Hospital, Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, Ren Ci Hospital, St Andrew’s Community Hospital and St Luke’s Hospital are planning to spend the money? Well they will spend money on the improvement of the services, facilities, offering better salaries to the staf to attract more people to join etc.

The CEO of Ren Ci Hospital, Loh Shu Ching, told that when there will be more resources, then the more programmes and services can be organized like community engagement programmes and developing new community-based services. The official from St Andrew’s community hospital claimed that they are already using the charity dollars for the welfare of the people and with the availability of more funds from now, they can deliver more to the people.

MOH, has signed an agreement that there will not be any hike in the fees of the hospitals in spite of increase in the subsidies.

Officials of community hospitals want that they should use the charity dollars according to the needs and requirements of the patients and not by a formal framework.

Household incomes increased in 2011 in Singapore

According to the report of Department of Statistics,the income groups in Singapore witnessed a household income hike in 2011.

According to the sources, the monthly household income from work raised from $6,340 in 2010 to $7,040 in 2011. The data is taken in Median terms. Hence, there was an increase of 5.6 percent in 2011 and the same was just 2.8 percent in 2010.

To note that the above figures are specially for Singaporean and Permanent Resident Households that has minimum one working member and there is an inclusion of the employer Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions.

According to the reports, the fastest increase in the monthly incomes was of top 10 per cent of employed households. The factual figures are that there is an 7.9 percent increase in 2011 from $24,440 in 2010 to $27,870 in 2011. For the bottom 10 percent, there is an increase of 0.9 percent from $1,500 to $1,580.

Singapore is taking steps for Rehabilitation

The all new medicine for Rehabilitation is very crucial and will be beneficial for many people who suffer from hip fracture, heart failure, stroke and traumatic brain or spinal cord injury.

The Minister of State for Health, Amy Khor, claimed at the First National Conference on Rehabilitation that Rehabilitation enjoys an important role in changing the functional outcomes and quality of life of the people for better.

What exactly Rehabilitation does? It allows to decrease the dependency of the patients and hence give them a chance to become the part of the community again.

Also in Singapore, two hospitals have arranged the First National Conference on Rehabilitation specially for healthcare professionals in order to get more insights on the advancements in the Rehabilitation Medicines. Dr Amy Khor announced that around 31 Rehabilitation centers have been given permission officially to meet the needs and requirements of the Rehabilitation service.

The centers which guarantee the availability of requirements like staffing, individualized care plans,needs assessment and monitoring of outcomes , will be given more subsidies from the Government. Also AIC (Agency of Integrated Care) is making plans in order to get more centers for the accreditation.

Also Singapore is planning to launch the TFC i.e. Transitional Care Facility. The first one is within Peacehaven Nursing Home.

What are TFCs? They are for the patients who needs lower intensity of Rehabilitation after they have discharged from community hospitals and before they return to their homes.

Many ministries, government agencies, acute and community hospitals and authorities in rehabilitation engineering and technologies participated in this conference.

The head and senior consultant of Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, of the Singapore’s General Hospital,Ng Yee Sien said that it has been seen growth in the rehabilitation research that includes the medication,health services,engineering services etc.

Asia will be booming in the coming years

Ng Eng Hen, Defence Minister of Singapore, said that Asia will do better than other parts of the World. He claimed the same in a panel discussion at 48th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Germany that took place from 3rd February

2012 to 5th February 2012.

The conference consisted of defence and foreign ministers,military leaders,parliamentarians,heads of government and

security experts.

According to IMF (International Monetary Fund), Asia will grow to a large amount by 2015 and hence will then be

comparable to the large economies like US and Europe in combination. Also by 2030, there will be large number of

middle class and hence will contribute for more than 40 percent of the global output. This may exceed the size of G-7 economies in totality.

In the coming years, Asia will be developing very much and hence would account for 43 percent of the World consumption in the coming years.

Ng Eng Hen iterated that many places in Asia are still young when compared with European Union and US along with their states and institutions.

Asia has got many capabilities and hence Ng Eng Hen urged US and European Union to continue their strategic engagement in Asia in order to strengthen the cooperation and constructive partnerships so nations, all together, can come to address the global problems together.

The issues that were discussed in the 3 day conference were new security parameters such as energy, resources and the environment,developments in the Middle East and cyber security,the implications of the financial crisis for international security etc.

Initiatives are taken in Singapore for commuters

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) , Singapore has decided to buy 18 North East Line (NEL) trains and 16 Circle Line (CCL)

trains in order to increase the capacity of rails in the future years.

According to the sources, the contract has been given to Alstom Transport S.A. / Alstom Transport (S) Pte Ltd

Consortium to procure the new CCL and NEL trains and the cost of the project is S$ 368.9 million.

Also it was decided that NEL would take only 12 new trains but now they have decided that they will take 15 traines and the delivery of the same will be done by 2015. These will hike the NEL’s capacity by around 70 percent. Also SMRT has given the contract of changing the signalling system on the North-South East-West Line (NSEWL) to Thales Solutions Asia Pte Ltd.The price of this contract is S$195 million.The signalling system will be a “COmmunications Based Train Control” system.

As said by the SMRT that the project will be finished in phases and trains will run at a good frequency of 100 seconds which is currently at 120 seconds. And hence the people will not have to wait for long time. Great initiative.Also the replacement work on the NSEW lines includes more than 100 kilometers of tracks .