The coronavirus pandemic has exacted a toll on Singapore's population, ranging from the obvious stress placed on those who have lost their jobs, to the pressure put on those whose work is critical to the functioning of Singapore as it fights the outbreak. Although they belong to diverse professions, healthcare workers and teachers are among those whose physical and mental well-being requires particular attention, given the critical roles they play respectively in the provision of round-the-clock health services and in enabling schools and learning to carry on smoothly for months.
It is disconcerting, therefore, that resignation rates among healthcare workers have gone up, with around 1,500 having quit in the first half of this year, compared with 2,000 annually before the pandemic's onset. Foreign healthcare workers, too, have resigned in larger numbers, especially when they have been unable to travel home to see their families. Close to 500 foreign doctors and nurses resigned in the first half of this year, compared with around 500 for the whole of 2020 and about 600 in 2019. The authorities recognise that, for healthcare workers, it has been over 20 months of continuously battling the virus.