The National University of Singapore (NUS) has launched the first local training programme for people interested to pursue a career in audiology.
The two-year NUS Master of Science in Audiology degree course has 18 students aged 22 to 46 in its first intake that started in August. The move comes as Singapore is facing a growing demand in hearing-related services, in part due to an ageing population.
The National Health Survey in 2010 showed that one in five Singaporeans aged 50 to 59 suffer some form of hearing impairment. But the country only has 60 audiologists, who work alongside doctors to help patients with hearing loss.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who was at the launch on Thursday, described the degree course as "a significant milestone". "To meet the healthcare needs of our rapidly ageing population, we need to grow our audiologist manpower pool and continually develop their capabilities," he said.