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Archive for October 7, 2012

Enhanced incentives to attract more to join healthcare sector

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.


More nurses selected to undergo disaster training

Preparing for emergency: Nurses practising CPR techniques during the Third International Nursing Conference on Disaster at Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur.

Preparing for emergency: Nurses practising CPR techniques during the Third International Nursing Conference on Disaster at Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has intensified its disaster preparation planning by training over 470 nurses and another 438 in emergency and trauma nursing programmes, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

The training, which started at the beginning of last year, was extended to private institutions to involve more nurses, he said.

Emergency physicians in main hospitals, said Liow, were developing these nurse training programmes, including formulating disaster plans for hospitals and drills to ensure proper patient care.

“This means that nurses need to be prepared to deal with all hazards, during which they play a major role in responding to those events and in managing their victims to ensure the best possible outcomes,” he said in his address at the Third International Conference on Disaster Nursing held in conjunction with the 17th Malaysia-Singapore Nursing Conference here yesterday.

The ministry’s nursing division, he said, would also develop a training module and curriculum for an Advanced Emergency and Trauma Course to prepare nurses for disaster management.

Liow said Malaysia’s Policy and Mechanism on National Disaster and Relief Management and the ministry’s Malaysian Emergency Medicine and Trauma Services Policy Book stressed the importance of disaster preparation.

“We will take in 1,681 nurses from private nursing colleges by year-end and 6,726 by 2015,” he said.

In ROMPIN, Liow said the ministry would proceed with its study on the source of illnesses in Bukit Koman without the involvement of the Ban Cyanide in Gold Mining Action Committee, which had yet to send its list of experts and the 383 names of allegedly sick patients.

“I have directed my officers to expedite the study so the issue can be put to rest,” he said after chairing the Pahang MCA exco meeting here.

The Star

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