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Singapore’s Reliance on Filipino nurses

Ms Foo Mee Har 

MP for West Coast GRC 

Question No. 1357


To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether the Ministry can quantify the current extent of Singapore’s reliance on Filipino nurses; and (b) what is the impact on the Singapore healthcare system by Philippines’ move to suspend permits for nurses to work overseas.



According to Singapore Nursing Board’s 2019 report, about 7,600 (or 18%) of our nursing workforce are Filipino. 


The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the impact of the Philippines’ suspension of permits. We are working with healthcare employers to ensure the adequacy and sustainability of our nursing workforce. Healthcare employers should also diversify their recruitment sources. 


Meanwhile, our local supply of nurses has grown. In 2020, there were around 1,400 new registrations from locals, compared to around 1,200 in 2019. This is a result of our past efforts to grow the nursing intake in our institutes of higher learning. We will continue to enhance the attractiveness of the nursing profession. And I hope more Singaporeans will join this noble profession especially those considering a mid-career switch.   


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