Nurses are specially trained: Health Ministry medical services director

Nurses work to ensure the well-being of patients and continue to do so long after everyone else has gone home.

The healthcare system here would also not function without them.

That is the view of the Ministry of Health's medical services director, Professor K. Satkunanantham.

"Nursing is not a job that just anybody can do - it is a profession," said Prof Satkunanantham in a post on the ministry's Facebook page on Saturday morning.

"It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse - someone who is compassionate, caring, and who is willing to put the interests of others above their own."

He added that nurses are often specially trained and need to keep up with new developments in their field.

They also work in difficult situations, and have to remain professional in the face of challenges.

"I daresay they are often under-appreciated and taken for granted - but our healthcare system would not function without them. Whether it is our hospitals, clinics or hospices they rely on our nurses," said Prof Satkunanantham.

"Nurses, even though we don't always remember to say it - we appreciate you and your expertise. Thank you for being a nurse."

Prof Satkunanantham's post comes after Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean apologised in Parliament on Friday for a footnote in the Population White Paper that referred to nursing, retail and personal services as low-skilled jobs, and asked for it to be deleted.

Said DPM Teo: "This classification of low-skilled jobs is not correct. I would like to apologise to those whose professions have been unintentionally misrepresented.

"I personally have the greatest respect for those in the nursing profession, which is a noble and caring profession, which all of us and our loved ones depend on and appreciate."

On Friday night, chief nursing officer, Dr Pauline Tan also made a similar post on Facebook, apologising for the misrepresentation in the White Paper that nursing is a "low-skilled" job.