To help the ageing population of Singapore, there are plans to launch a national online marketplace for eldercare services and products. The online marketplace is expected to be launched later this year.
The online platform will offer various home-care services to the elderly or their caregivers including medical supplies, nursing and therapist services, ambulance services and other related services.
To implement the platform, Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) are currently working with Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) — the information technology arm of the Ministry of Health. Hospitals and other partners will also be on board, with the marketplace potentially open to private providers as well.
In this connection, IHiS consulted many organisations for launching the platform, including NTUC Eldercare.
Lim Sia Hoe, general manager of NTUC Eldercare, said, “Currently, too many providers are doing too many things, there is too much replication. It is also very siloed, some providers are doing only one service, such as only transport, medical supplies, or groceries.”
She added, “There are also too many online apps and services by private providers, with limited adoption among consumers. The new portal has to be very targeted, and kept simple and user-friendly.”
There have also been suggestions of bringing transparency in pricing goods and services on the portal.
Janice Chia, founder of consultancy Ageing Asia, said, “Right now, the typical consumer does not really know how much home-care services cost, from one provider to another. So what makes them choose one VWO over another? This is where pricing could guide them.”
She added, “If done correctly, this marketplace can really support the case for ageing in Singapore, because all the options will be laid out clearly, from rehabilitation services to medical supplies.”