Ms Yeo Wan Ling: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) whether the Ministry maintains a database of adult persons with intellectual disabilities and special needs (undiagnosed and diagnosed); (b) whether such personal information can be passed on to local volunteer and charity organisations to reach out to these persons who may be living without caregivers, without their explicit consent; and (c) what are the outreach plans for such adults especially if they are living alone, or with elderly caregivers.
MSF has data on persons with disabilities, including persons with intellectual disability, who have applied for government-funded disability services. These services range from early intervention services and special education to adult disability services such as day or residential care and employment support services, and include schemes that support access by persons with disabilities to transport or assistive technology.
2 MSF generally obtains the consent of individuals in need before sharing their personal data with non-government entities, such as charity organisations. Exceptions may be exercised by MSF in line with the Government Instruction Manual on ICT and Smart Systems Management, for example, to provide assistance to address concerns of an individual’s well-being or safety, where consent cannot be obtained in a timely manner. MSF may, for example, need to share information with social workers or healthcare professionals to help in the detection of abuse of vulnerable adults early, to ensure timely intervention. Before doing so, MSF will assess the need for sharing the data and ensure that a good balance is struck between achieving the intended purpose and respecting the privacy of persons in need. We typically work with other Government agencies, Government-appointed agencies and trusted partners on the ground to render support and assistance. The non-government entities in receipt of such personal data are obliged to protect and safeguard the data as required by the Government for the intended purposes, and in line with the Personal Data Protection Act.
3 We recognise that there may be vulnerable persons with disabilities living on their own, or with senior caregivers, who may require more assistance. Our partners, including grassroots organisations, the Agency for Integrated Care and Social Service Agencies, have been referring such cases that they come across to us for support. During the circuit breaker period, SG Enable also set up a dedicated support team to attend to the heightened needs of caregivers and PwDs. MSF will continue to work closely with our partners to bring those who require help into our social support system. Likewise, we encourage members of the public to refer cases that may require help to MSF.