Union leaders, health authorities in S'pore to discuss ways to boost healthcare workers' welfare

FairPrice group CEO Seah Kian Peng (left) and NTUC deputy secretary-general Chee Hong Tat delivers the first batch of care parks for healthcare workers at HSEU's headquarters, on May 21, 2021. PHOTO: HEALTHCARE SERVICES EMPLOYEES' UNION

SINGAPORE - Union leaders have been collecting feedback from healthcare workers amid the recent surge in Covid-19 cases and will be discussing with the Ministry of Health and hospital management how to look after their welfare during this stressful period.

"(We will) discuss with them on how we can further improve our processes and support measures to look after the well-being of our front-line workers, not only in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) but across different healthcare institutions," National Trades Union Congress deputy secretary-general Chee Hong Tat said in a Facebook post on Friday (May 21).

Mr Chee, who is also adviser to the Healthcare Services Employees' Union (HSEU), said he had an online dialogue on Wednesday with members of the union and staff from TTSH.

This comes in the wake of reports that TTSH and other healthcare workers have faced discrimination by the public following the emergence of a Covid-19 cluster at TTSH on April 28. Cases were also detected at other hospitals such as Raffles Hospital and Sengkang General Hospital.

To thank healthcare workers for their efforts, the labour movement has embarked on an initiative to distribute to them 12,000 care packs, consisting of beverages and snacks such as instant coffee, Milo and crackers. FairPrice and the HSEU are also involved in the initiative.

Mr Chee and FairPrice group chief executive officer Seah Kian Peng on Thursday delivered the first batch of care packs to HSEU president K. Thanaletchimi at the union's headquarters in Bukit Pasoh Road to officially launch the initiative.

Volunteers from HSEU, NTUC Club and Young NTUC will be involved in preparing the care packs, with HSEU administering the distribution in June.

Ms Thanaletchimi said that the care packs will help to boost the morale of healthcare workers.

She added: "Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the union has received numerous reports of our healthcare workers facing discrimination. However, there are also many others who have come forth to show their appreciation through kind words and gestures.

"We encourage more to spread kindness; after all, we are in this global crisis together and it is only through helping one another that we can emerge from this stronger."

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