S’pore’s nursing strength boosted by recruitment of 5,600 nurses, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

S’pore’s nursing strength boosted by recruitment of 5,600 nurses

Efforts to enhance Singapore’s nursing workforce have paid off, with 5,600 nurses accepting offers to work in the public healthcare system in 2023, including 4,500 already registered to work.

Speaking on Feb 10 during a visit to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), on the first day of Chinese New Year celebrations, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the number recruited exceeded the target announced earlier.

“We are always short of healthcare manpower. So last year, we set ourselves a target to recruit 4,000 nurses, in private as well as public healthcare systems, in order to first replenish those we lost during Covid-19, and at the same time, expand our workforce further,” said Mr Ong.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in January that the number of nurses registered in 2023 surpassed the figure seen in the previous year, when 3,400 new nurses were registered.

There were 43,772 nurses and registered midwives in Singapore in 2022, including 36,995 registered nurses.

The ministry had announced in 2022 the need for intensified local and overseas recruitment, to make up for nurses who left the country or the profession during the Covid-19 pandemic, and to meet the growing healthcare needs of Singapore’s ageing population.

The Republic experienced a higher attrition rate of foreign nurses in 2021 and 2022, as borders reopened and the global competition for healthcare professionals intensified.

MOH also previously announced that by 2030, 82,000 nurses, allied health professionals and support care staff will be needed to operate hospitals, clinics and also elder care centres, to support Singapore’s ageing population.

In July 2023, Mr Ong said more foreign nurses were granted permanent resident status in 2023, in recognition of the essential role they played in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and supporting Singapore’s growing healthcare needs.

Most of the foreign nurses here are from the region, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Myanmar.