NOTICE PAPER NO. 418
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 10 MAY 2021
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye
MP for Radin Mas
Question No. 1079
To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the Ministry’s plan to increase hiring of our healthcare professionals, in light of MOM’s annual job vacancy report which found that nursing jobs are the hardest PMET positions to fill in 2020; and (b) whether it will be possible to further accelerate the Professional Conversion Programme for Registered Nurses at the diploma and degree levels to one year instead of the current two years.
Nurses form the largest professional group in our healthcare workforce. They have been at the forefront in our battle against the spread of COVID-19, and together with all our healthcare workers, have gone above and beyond their call of duty to keep us safe. The Ministry of Health is committed to grow and develop our nursing workforce.
2 We have progressively increased the intakes of diploma and degree-level nursing programmes by about 45% between 2014 and 2020, from around 1,500 to 2,200 per year. We also facilitate mid-career entry into nursing via the Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) for Enrolled and Registered Nurses, and complement this with publicity and outreach efforts such as career talks and exhibitions. We have enhanced and expanded the nursing PCPs over the years. In the last three years from 2018 to 2020, enrolment into nursing PCPs was about double the enrolment between 2015 and 2017. Starting 2021, Ngee Ann Polytechnic will also offer the diploma-level nursing PCP, alongside Nanyang Polytechnic.
3 The PCPs for Registered Nurses are about two years in duration, which is already shorter than the regular three-year diploma programme, and three- to four-year degree programmes. The two-year training runway is necessary for PCP trainees to acquire the necessary competencies and skills to deliver safe and effective care to patients.
4 Apart from these enhancements to our training pipelines, we regularly review the salaries of healthcare staff, including nurses, to maintain market competitiveness. Starting this year, nurses will see an increase of 5% to 14% in their monthly base salaries, phased over the next two years. To raise the profile of the nursing profession and to ensure lifelong employability, we have also enhanced career progression, training and development opportunities, and recognition for nurses.