Singapore’s Ministry of Health has announced they will be investing S$24,000,000 in a variety of different schemes to attract more Singaporean mid-level professionals to take up jobs in the healthcare industry.
Approximately nine thousand additional staff are needed to fill gaps in the industry, with as many as half of these roles in managerial, executive and technical positions (primarily nursing in this case) stated Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State on Thursday 9th March 2017.
One of the policies set to be enacted is an increase in funding for the PCP (Professional Conversion Programme) with the goal of leaving employers to pay only 10% of training costs as opposed to the current rate which is somewhere between 20-50%.
This is going to run concurrently wit the Ministry of Manpowers “Attach and Train” policy to allow more mid-level people to take up the training programs while on the job, as not to decrease the overall manpower within the healthcare sector.
Furthermore, a new scholarship program is being put into place that will see 20 non-nursing degree graduates undertake a masters programme overseas, with the guarantee of a position within the public healthcare sector upon completion of the scholarship.
Another role that is coming in will be part-time care assistant positions, aimed at improving the personal care levels in the public health sector, with an expected 200 jobs being created in this capacity.
An assortment of hospitals have agreed to take on these part time assistants, with the added benefit that the government will be giving S$10,000 per employee to the employers to aid with the on-the-job training of these part time care assistants.
Another priority that was pointed out by Dr Khor is the need for home based care, in an effort to provide community based, preventative measures in response to the higher numbers of elderly people in Singapore due to increases in life expectancy.
According to the Ministry of Health, public healthcare spending is set to increase by approximately S$900,000,000 this financial year with a estimated total expenditure of S$10.7 Billion as opposed to S$9.8 Billion last financial year.
This is due to the opening of a series of community hospitals and clinics across Singapore alongside financial benefits to food manufacturers for promoting healthier cooking oil, rices and noodles and enhanced screening processes for common conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.
Among these changes bonuses are going to be made available to ex-nurses who return to nursing within the aged-care sector of between S$3,000 / S$5,000.
A final policy that is set to be put into place is the raising of the legal age for the purchase of cigarettes from 18 to 21, as part of the goal of improving public heath overall and removing the ability to purchase cigarettes from the younger generation.
These policies are part of the overall agenda regarding the state of Singapore’s public healthcare system, which is buckling under the pressure of the raising life expectancy in the region.
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