24 July 2023 | News
Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung announced new efforts at the Nurses’ Merit Award (NMA) ceremony recently
Image credit: Tan Tock Seng Hospital
The Ministry of Health (MoH) in Singapore will further strengthen nursing manpower, by introducing a new sign-on bonus for fresh nursing graduates joining the nursing workforce this year, and enhancing sponsorship packages for nursing students. These efforts will help ensure a steady flow of nursing manpower to support the expansion in hospital bed capacity.
MoH had earlier announced that the healthcare sector targets to bring on board 4,000 nurses nationally this year – 40% more than pre-pandemic annual levels – to shore up the nursing workforce and cater for expansions of service capacity.
In the first half of 2023, the public healthcare clusters have recruited about 2,000 new nurses through intensified local and overseas recruitment, and expect to recruit another 2,000 more nurses by the end of the year. Including nurses recruited in the private healthcare sector, the Ministry is on track to exceed the 4,000 target.
MoH is also alleviating the bed capacity issues in acute hospitals, by adding more acute beds and step-down care facilities.
280 acute beds will be added to acute care institutions this year, mainly from the opening of the Tan Tock Seng Hospital-Integrated Care Hub (TTSH-ICH) in September 2023. The remaining acute beds will consist of additions to Alexandra Hospital (20 beds), Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (100 beds), and Sengkang General Hospital (40 beds).
To facilitate the right-siting of patients who no longer require acute inpatient care but require subsequent rehabilitation or step-down care as part of their recovery, 280 more community hospital beds will be added by the end 2023.
Nursing home capacity will also be augmented with the addition of 310 more nursing home beds by end 2023. This addition will mainly come from the opening of a new nursing home and the expansion of two existing nursing homes.