A career in the healthcare sector can be a much more sought after one for Singaporeans, and one way to do this is to raise salaries, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Saturday evening.
"The only way we can raise salaries is to make (the work) more productive," said Dr Ng, noting that, for instance, there was a lot more nurses could do.
"Because our doctors are overburdened, we've got to raise (salaries) to a level where it becomes very attractive," he added.
He was speaking at a dialogue session at the 55th anniversary dinner of the Singapore Medical Association.
Held at the Regent Hotel, the dinner was attended by about 450 people, mostly doctors.
Dr Ng said he was worried that those in the health-care sector would become overloaded in the private and public sectors as health-care spending goes up, noting also that the country's population is ageing.
But this also means that there will be many healthcare jobs, not just for doctors but also other positions, such as for nurses, physiotherapists and radiologists.
"It's a pity that we don't have more Singaporeans doing these jobs. We should really make a big push, start at universities and help people convert mid career," Dr Ng added.