On Sunday, 20 August 2018, Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong gave his National Day Rally speech at the Institute of Technical Education College Central campus in Ang Mo Kio. He touched on various topics, such as the cost of living, housing and healthcare in Singapore, among others.
Some Singapore-listed companies could benefit (or be affected) from the plans laid out during the rally. Let’s take a look.
Healthcare – CHAS extension and the new Merdeka Generation Package
PM Lee announced that the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) will be extended to all Singaporeans with chronic conditions, regardless of income. The level of benefits, however, will continue to depend on the individual’s income.
CHAS, which previously covered only middle to lower-income Singaporeans, provides subsidies for medical and dental care at participating general practitioners and dental clinics.
Four years ago, the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP) was launched for Singaporeans born in 1949 or earlier to meet their medical needs. During the 2018 rally, a new Merdeka Generation Package was revealed by PM Lee for those born in the 1950s. The Merdeka Generation Package will cover similar areas as the Pioneer Generation Package, such as outpatient subsidies, Medisave top-ups, premium subsidies for the MediShield Life insurance scheme, and payouts for long-term care.
Companies that could benefit include participating healthcare providers for CHAS and PGP such as Healthway Medical Corp Ltd (SGX: 5NG), IHH Healthcare Bhd (SGX: Q0F), Raffles Medical Group Ltd (SGX: BSL), and Q & M Dental Group (Singapore) Limited (SGX: QC7).
Healthcare – More polyclinics to be built
PM Lee also announced that there will be new polyclinics constructed in Sembawang, Eunos, Kallang, and Bukit Panjang by 2020. Nee Soon Central and Tampines North will get their polyclinics by 2023.
Companies that could benefit: Construction firms such as Lum Chang Holdings Limited (SGX: L19), steelworks providers such as Yongnam Holdings Limited (SGX: AXB), crane suppliers such as Tiong Woon Corp Holdings Ltd (SGX: BQM), and ready-mixed concrete provider Pan-United Corporation Ltd (SGX: P52).
Companies that could face higher levels of competition: Major private-sector healthcare providers such as IHH and Raffles Medical.
Housing – Home Improvement Programme (HIP) expansion and HIP II
Another 230,000 flats will be upgraded as HIP will be expanded to include HDB blocks built in the years up to 1997. The programme previously covered only flats built up to 1986.
Also announced during the rally was the HIP II scheme, a second round of upgrading for flats when they are around 60 to 70 years old. With that, every HDB flat will undergo upgrading twice during its 99-year lease. The second upgrading helps to ensure Singapore’s public housing do not “degenerate into ragged, squalid slums.” HIP II will start in around 10 years’ time when the first batch of flats reach the 60 to 70-year mark.
One company that could benefit: ISOTeam Ltd (SGX: 5WF), an established player in Singapore’s building maintenance and estate upgrading industry.
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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommended shares of Raffles Medical Group Ltd. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Sudhan P owns shares in Raffles Medical Group Ltd and ISOTeam Ltd.