More programmes for paramedics to upgrade skills and pursue higher education

Mr Ong Ye Kung delivers his speech during the launch of National Paramedic Training and Education Roadmap.
Mr Ong Ye Kung delivers his speech during the launch of National Paramedic Training and Education Roadmap.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Paramedics here will be have more options to upgrade their skills with a new diploma programme announced on Friday.

The diploma in paramedicine at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) can lead to an advanced diploma, or to a degree. A new minor in paramedicine and emergency response was also launched in July this year by SIM University (UniSIM).

These enhanced training pathwayswere announced by Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung at the launch of the National Paramedic Training and Education Roadmap.

The start date of the diploma programme will be released later.

Mr Ong, who is also Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), said paramedicine is a critical field as it ensures there is ready emergency care for people. Paramedics also train full-time national servicemen medics, who support frontline operations, medical centres and outfield battle casualty stations.

"What you do makes the difference between life and death," he said in a speech to some 100 paramedics from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and private ambulance operators.

He assured them that academic results would take a back seat as they progress in their careers, as an open enrolment policy is in place for the relevant courses at NYP and UniSIM with no grade point average requirement.

"So long as you are in a vocation, you can do the job, you are performing well, the path is open for you to seize," he said, speaking at the headquarters of the SAF Medical Corps in Nee Soon Camp.

The roadmap is in line with the national SkillsFuture initiative and was developed by employers, regulators, and educators in the Paramedic Professional Standards Committee.

It includes an enhanced emergency medical specialist course by the SAF, launched in June this year as an upgrading course for emergency medical technicians.

The SAF's Military Expert study award will also be extended to paramedics, said Mr Ong.

At the launch event, the SAF, SCDF, Institute of Technical Education, NYP, UniSIM and the Justice Institute of British Columbia - which conducts paramedicine courses - signed a memorandum of understanding to work on promoting skills mastery.