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Healthcare sector must provide better pay: Ng Eng Hen

Salaries of workers in Singapore's healthcare system have to go up in order to attract more local talent. This is important with an impending silver tsunami, where one in three Singaporeans is expected to be at least 60 years old by 2030, says Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

SINGAPORE: Salaries of workers in Singapore's healthcare system have to go up in order to attract more local talent.

This is important with an impending silver tsunami, where one in three Singaporeans is expected to be at least 60 years old by 2030.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen shared these thoughts at a dialogue session during the Singapore Medical Association's annual dinner.

Dr Ng, who was a practising doctor before entering politics, said the healthcare industry provides a rewarding life career.

He said the medical fraternity is well-regarded worldwide, and this applies to not just doctors but other occupations such as nurses and allied healthcare professionals.

Dr Ng said medical professions must add value and productivity in order for salaries to go up.

He gave the example of the US in the '80s, where registered nurses were paid up to US$70,000 a year.

"We are very thankful for people who come from outside Singapore to help us take care of our elderly and our sick but as far as possible, we should have a system where our Singaporeans say 'I want to do this because it's highly respected', and we need to be practical. We need to raise the salaries," said Dr Ng.

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