SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Health will inject close to S$12 million over the next four years into the community care sector to attract and develop talent, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor announced on Tuesday (Sep 5).
The funds will be channelled to a scholarship scheme administered by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) called the Community Care Manpower Development Award (CCMDA), which brings together four existing scholarships offered by AIC.
Previously, only those looking to join the sector in the fields of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nursing could apply for an AIC scholarship. Under CCMDA, applicants can now choose other disciplines such as social work and speech therapy. Those currently working in the sector, including general practitioners, can also apply.
The scheme covers short courses and formal academic programmes. Those under the scheme will also have the opportunity to be attached to healthcare and community care facilities both in Singapore and overseas.
Awardees will have the cost of their training co-funded by CCMDA and their hiring organisation, and will serve a bond after they complete their training.
Thirty-three recipients received scholarships on Tuesday. They were among more than 100 people who received awards at the annual Community Care Manpower Development Awards held at Ng Teng Fong Hospital.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Khor said the health ministry has worked with AIC to put in place programmes to attract more Singaporeans to join the sector. These recruitment efforts appear to have paid off, with 450 locals successfully finding jobs in the sector over the past year, she said.