Increasing Point-to-Point Accessibility for Vulnerable Groups

  • First, we have the Medical Escort & Transport or MET services, funded by the Ministry of Health for community providers to provide transportation and/or someone to accompany their vulnerable clients to travel to and from their homes for medical appointments and treatments (for example, at hospitals, specialist outpatient clinics, or polyclinics). It is for those who need help to move around, and have no caregiver or whose caregiver is unable to provide support because of their own health and physical condition. There are currently nine community providers including Handicaps Welfare Association or HWA, Red Cross and others who provide the service via specialised vans. They now make about 2,000 such trips monthly.
  • Second, we have the Taxi Subsidy or TSS Scheme funded by the Ministry for Social & Family Development which specifically targets persons with disabilities. The scheme only covers school, work or training supported by SG Enable. The scheme reimbursed qualified beneficiaries 35–80% of their monthly taxi fares including from private hire cars registered with the Land Transport Authority like Grab. MSF expects the number of beneficiaries on TSS to grow to 300 by 2021.
  • Lastly, we have the VWO Transport Subsidy Scheme also funded by MSF which should be called the SSA Transport Subsidy Scheme since we have now officially dropped the VWO for SSA (Social Service Agency). This scheme supports persons with disabilities who are attending Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC), Day Activity Centres, Sheltered Workshops or Special Education (SPED) schools. I understand there are four service providers namely Caring Fleet, HWA, Silveray, Singapore Wheel on Wheels.
  • Ministry of Health is on track to meeting targets with 6,200 daycare places, 10,000 home care places and 17,000 nursing home beds by 2020. The Agency for Integrated Care or AIC reported that a projected 60 per cent of these clients will need some form of transport.
  • Handicaps Welfare Association or HWA provided more than 77,000 trips in FY2017 for rides catered to medical consultations, rehabilitation sessions, recreational activities, ferrying children with disabilities to and from schools. They do this through Handicare Cab Scheme, a collaboration with ComfortDelGro to provide wheelchair-bound persons a guaranteed cab during rush hour driven by a specially-trained cabby, Medical Escort & Transport Service, Taxi Subsidy Scheme, among others.

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Anthea Indira Ong

Anthea Indira Ong

A full-time human, and part-time everything else.