SINGAPORE - Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) medics will be deployed in Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) ambulances in a three-month pilot project from September, as the medical needs of Singaporeans continue to grow.
The project aims to meet the growing demand in calls for ambulances and emergency treatments, which are expected to increase six per cent annually in light of Singapore's ageing population, said Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen on Tuesday (May 23).
"The SAF's primary mission is to defend the nation against external threats, but in the area of emergency care, using SAF medics to respond to civilian emergencies is synergistic and mutually helpful," said Dr Ng, who was speaking at the opening of the Asia Pacific Military Health Exchange at The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore.
"It will meet the growing demand as well as allow our medics to keep their skills current, to better respond in times of military crises," he said to about 500 delegates comprising senior military officers, active service and reserve medics, nurses, allied health professionals and defence researchers from the Asia Pacific countries.
The pilot partnership will involve 12 SAF medics, comprising 10 full-time national servicemen and two regular servicemen, who will work closely with SCDF personnel to respond to civilian medical emergencies.
As the SAF will have its manpower reduced by one-third from 2030, the SAF Medical Corps are reviewing the vocational requirements to increase flexibility and allow more soldiers to be deployed to each vocation, added Dr Ng.
"The review is expected to be completed soon and the SAF will implement it progressively," he said.