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07 Nov 2022

15th Jan 2019

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Anthea Ong
Nominated MP 

To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the current number of informal and professional caregivers in Singapore; (b) what is the total value of the informal versus the professional caregiving sector; and (c) how many salaried working persons left employment to be primary caregivers in the last three years and what is the demographic profile of these persons.


Caregiving needs will grow as our population ages, and the Government is expanding home and community care services, to support families and provide caregivers with peace of mind.  As of 2017, we have about 8,300  staff providing direct care[1] to seniors in the long-term care sector[2].  However, families and friends are also an important source of care and support for our seniors.  Based on the  National Health Surveillance Survey conducted in 2010 and 2013, around 6% – 8% of Singapore residents aged 18 – 69 provide regular informal care or assistance to family and friends with health issues, long-term illnesses or disability.  As informal caregiving arrangements vary, we do not have available estimates of the total value of informal caregiving to make a direct comparison with formal caregiving.

Some working persons may leave the workforce to focus on family responsibilities. Based on the Ministry of Manpower's 2017 Comprehensive Labour Force Survey, 202,000 residents left their job within the last three years and were not looking for a job. Of this number, about 12,500 residents cited family caregiving to families or relatives as the main reason, and the majority of these residents were females, married and aged 40 and over.

We also recognise the important roles that family caregivers play, and the need to take a whole-of-community approach to support them.  The Government will continue to review how we can further encourage ageing in place and provide more direct and holistic support for caregivers of seniors. 

[1] Direct care staff refer to doctors, dentists, registered nurses, enrolled nurses, nursing support staff, Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) and AHP support staff. Admin and ancillary staff are excluded in this definition.

[2] The long-term care sector comprises community care settings such as the nursing homes, hospices and home and centre-based care services. Community hospitals are not included.

Category: Parliamentary QA