A nurse helps a patient to a bed
SINGAPORE: Mid-career professionals will enjoy enhanced incentives when they switch careers to become a nurse or allied health professional from April next year.
These include fully-sponsored course fees and higher monthly training allowances of between 50 and 70 per cent.
Minister of State for Health Amy Khor announced the changes on Saturday.
As the government invests in more healthcare facilities to cater to an ageing population, the demand for nurses and allied health professionals will also increase.
One way to grow the pool is to attract more mid-career professionals, who will need to undergo a professional conversion programme by the Workforce Development Agency.
Former electrical engineer, Yeo Suan Hoe, said: “WDA has provided this opportunity for me to study diagnostic radiography and this has helped me to prepare myself to work as a radiographer in SGH.”
Such programmes typically cost between S$62,000 and S$68,000 for each trainee.
About 20 to 30 per cent of fees are currently funded by employers, while the rest are subsidised by WDA.
But from April next year, WDA will bear all training fees.
Monthly training allowances will also go up.
For example, registered nurses or allied health trainees can expect to receive allowances of between S$1,500 and S$1,700, compared the current S$1,000 payout.
Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said: “We find that one of the stress points for mid-career professionals switching into healthcare really is the loss of income during their conversion training period… and the cost of the training itself. This is why we are enhancing our training allowance for the sponsored candidates during the conversion training period by 50 to 70 per cent.”
To help mid-career professionals make an informed decision on the career switch, from next year, they will also be given an opportunity to undergo an attachment at a healthcare institution prior to joining the conversion programme.