The ratios of doctors and nurses serving the general population have both improved over the past five years, said Minister of State for Health Amy Khor in Parliament on Monday.
Last year, Singapore had one doctor serving 520 people, up from 620 people in 2007. There was one nurse serving 154 people, an improvement from 205 people in 2007.
Responding to Mr Gan Thiam Poh (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC), Dr Khor said her ministry has worked with public healthcare clusters to expand the pool of professionals working in public healthcare. For instance, the number of doctors in the public sector has increased by over 50 per cent since 2007 to around 6,200 last year. The number of nurses went up by about 70 per cent to 21,000 over the same period.
In order to better attract and retain healthcare professionals, the Government has enhanced pay packages and expanded intakes of medical and nursing students, said Dr Khor.
Replying to a concern raised by Mr Zainudin Nordin (Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) about the difficulty of recruiting students into nursing and allied health professional courses, she said response to an advertising campaign promoting these professions to school-leavers has been positive so far.