Forum: Multi-pronged efforts to grow nursing workforce

We thank Mr Ng Weng Keong for his letter "More can be done to encourage people to become nurses" (Aug 1).

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is committed to looking after the well-being of our nurses and healthcare staff, and we have been stepping up efforts to attract more to join the nursing profession to meet our future healthcare needs.

Since 2014, MOH has worked with the public healthcare clusters to implement flexible work arrangements to help staff balance work and personal demands.

For example, public hospitals have implemented flexible work hours where ward nurses can opt for different start and end times to their shifts.

Other options include working part-time or telecommuting, subject to operational needs. MOH will continue working with the public healthcare clusters to explore ways to improve the availability of such arrangements.

We also regularly review the salary packages of nurses to ensure that nursing remains attractive as a career for existing nurses and those looking to join their ranks.

To build up the future pipeline of our nursing workforce, MOH Holdings (MOHH) has been working with secondary schools to engage students and raise their awareness of healthcare and nursing careers.

Outreach efforts include career talks and health and life-skills exhibitions, as well as learning journeys and job shadowing with nurses. Prior to Covid-19, outreach efforts reached around 17,000 students annually.

We hope more will be inspired by our nurses, and regard nursing as a rewarding and meaningful profession when it comes to choosing their career pathways.

Lavinia Low

Director, Manpower Planning and Strategy Division

Ministry of Health

Liem Yew Kan (Dr)

Director, Healthcare Manpower

MOH Holdings

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