NEWS

Parliament Q&A

Written reply by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources to Parliamentary Question on After-Death Services on 4 Nov 2019

Question from Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (a) how is NEA working with funeral professionals to ensure that our departed loved ones are treated with dignity when taken into their care; (b) whether there has been any recent consultation with the industry on enhancing present regulations and practices; (c) whether any enhancements are expected; and (d) whether there are plans for a legislative and regulatory framework to govern the industry and to protect bereaved families.

 

Answer:

 

  The National Environment Agency (NEA) regulates funeral parlours to ensure that these facilities meet specific public health requirements. As part of the regulatory regime, NEA conducts periodic inspections of funeral parlour premises. NEA also engages the funeral services industry regularly on issues related to after-death services.

 

2 Earlier in the year, NEA had conducted a round of environmental hygiene inspections of all 21 licensed funeral parlours with embalming facilities. Following these inspections, NEA issued a circular to remind licensed operators of their responsibilities under the licensing conditions, along with advice on the appropriate handling of the deceased. 

 

3 Beyond ensuring environmental public health, after-death services should be provided in a manner that is in accordance with religious practices and cultural preferences, and accords dignity to the deceased and comfort to bereaved families. In August this year, as part of continuing efforts to improve standards, NEA had engaged funeral directors and funeral parlour operators to seek their views on how the provision of after-death services could be enhanced. NEA is reviewing the suggestions from this engagement. We will continue to work with the Association of Funeral Directors Singapore, funeral directors and funeral parlour operators, in consultation with religious groups, to enhance the standards of after-death facilities and services in Singapore.

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