Nurses and volunteers wanted amid healthcare manpower shortage as Covid-19 cases surge

MOH has made a call for help to support Covid-19 operations to those under the Singapore Healthcare Corps. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Hospitals and community care facilities are in need of nurses, healthcare professionals, volunteers and more hands on deck amid the rise in Covid-19 cases here.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has made a call for help to support Covid-19 operations, urging nurses and members under the Singapore Healthcare Corps (SHC) to register for deployment starting this month.

The SHC was set up to support the healthcare workforce's Covid-19 operations and comprises individuals with or without healthcare experience, such as professionals and volunteers.

In a circular to SHC members seen by The Straits Times, MOH wrote: "With the number of Covid-19 cases on the rise, we are in need of manpower to support our healthcare institutions in the Covid-19 effort.

"This includes the management of Covid-19-positive patients in the hospitals and community care facilities, and as backfill manpower in (business-as-usual) settings."

The ministry added that those who are deployed will be given paid contract positions that may start this month.

Those found suitable for deployment will be hired and paid as staff by healthcare institutions and other approved partners, said MOH, adding that certain deployments require prior healthcare training or a valid certificate.

It did not mention how much applicants can expect to be paid.

In a separate registration form for nurses, MOH wrote that healthcare institutions are also in need of nurses, including former nurses, for roles such as the management of Covid-19-positive patients.

In the forms for both nurses and general helpers, applicants are asked for their experience in healthcare, preferred area for deployment and availability.

MOH also offered unpaid opportunities for volunteers who are unable take up paid contract positions.

ST has contacted MOH for comment.

Singapore recorded 15,836 Covid-19 cases as at Saturday (Feb 19), with 1,491 patients in hospital. There were 182 patients in need of oxygen supplementation and 43 patients in intensive care.

It was the 15th successive day that hospitalisations have exceeded the 1,000 mark.

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