SINGAPORE - Taking the opportunity offered by the day, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat thanked nurses in Singapore for their service - especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic - on Saturday (Aug 1), Nurses' Day.
DPM Heng took to his Facebook page to post a video message he recorded for the virtual Nurses' Day celebration at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
He wrote: "This special day has taken on added significance this year, as our nurses are playing a critical role in our battle against the virus.
"Since we had our first confirmed case six months ago, our nurses have been working tirelessly on the front line in the fight against Covid-19. They have helped to make a seemingly impossible situation possible as we tackle the pandemic."
Looking ahead, Mr Heng wished nurses well as Singapore continues to handle the uncertainty of the pandemic.
"As you face the challenges ahead, I hope that you will continue to hold on to that sense of purpose that first drew you to nursing. I am confident that with your full commitment we can make anything possible," he said.
DPM Heng, 59, shared how he and his family experienced first-hand the warmth and care of nurses when he was hospitalised at TTSH for six weeks in 2016.
"Your encouragement and support was a big factor in my recovery," he said.
On May 12, 2016, Mr Heng collapsed at a weekly Cabinet meeting after suffering a stroke. Three doctors in Cabinet attended to him before he was taken to TTSH.
The stroke was caused by an aneurysm, which is a localised weakening of a blood vessel. He underwent initial neurosurgery to relieve pressure in his brain due to the bleeding. The aneurysm was successfully closed.
"Nursing is more than a job. It is a calling with a deep purpose. I'm glad that you have answered the call of duty," said Mr Heng in his video message.