SINGAPORE: About 6,700 openings are available in the healthcare sector, with close to 5,500 jobs and other training opportunities, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in its weekly jobs situation report on Thursday (Dec 10).
The jobs are suitable for fresh graduates and mid-career job seekers, including those without healthcare experience, said the ministry. The majority of the openings – 75 per cent – are long-term roles.
Seven in 10 of the long-term jobs are in healthcare support and administrative support roles such as healthcare assistants, therapy assistants and patient service associates. The others are in healthcare professional and executive roles such as nurses, allied health professionals, and finance and human resources executives.
These figures are as of end-November.
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Speaking to reporters at a virtual press conference after a visit to National University of Singapore's Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing noted that the demand for healthcare professionals will continue to increase in the years to come.
"(It) partly is because of our demographics, partly is because of our sector aspirations for better quality healthcare. So the demand will continue to increase both quantitatively and qualitatively," said Mr Chan.
MORE THAN 8,300 JOB, TRAINING PLACEMENTS IN HEALTHCARE
MOM also released salary ranges for major healthcare roles in its report.
Enrolled and registered nurses can expect to earn between S$3,300 and S$5,200 and allied health professionals between S$4,100 and S$5,000. Those in healthcare administrative or corporate functions earn around S$3,500 to S$6,200 and patient service associates around S$2,400 to S$3,000. Those working in support care such as therapy assistants earn between S$1,800 and S$2,300.
The figures are based on gross monthly salaries between the 25th and 75th percentile for locals who joined healthcare institutions in 2018, including people who joined the sector with some experience.
Between April and end-November, more than 8,300 people have been placed into jobs, company-hosted traineeships and attachments, as well as enrolled in training places in the healthcare sector, said the ministry.
The “vast majority” were placed into jobs, of which 71 per cent were shorter-term in nature, it said.
This includes swabbers and swab assistants to support COVID-19 related operations, as well as care ambassadors and patient concierge with public healthcare institutions and community care organisations.
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, who was also at the NUS visit, noted that the placements this year have been "very, very encouraging".
She said the short-term roles are opportunities for job seekers to familiarise themselves with the sector.
"They are able to gain a better awareness of what the work is like, and we hope that as they gain better awareness, some of them will be encouraged to consider the long-term career opportunities that are available in healthcare and to take them up," she added.
"WELL-REGARDED" HEALTHCARE SECTOR
"Singapore’s healthcare sector is well-regarded internationally for its quality services, infrastructure and sound policies," said MOM in the jobs report.
It noted that the healthcare system is supported by a workforce of more than 100,000 across both the public and private sectors.
About 70 per cent of this workforce consists of healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses and allied health professionals, while the remaining are support care, administrative and ancillary workers.
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Of the 5,500 jobs available, more than 80 per cent are offered by public healthcare clusters such as the National Healthcare Group and community care organisations such as Ren Ci Hospital, said MOM. The rest are offered by private organisations.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has created a temporary demand for jobs such as swabbers and swab assistants, in the longer term, an ageing population and rising chronic disease rates will drive demand for healthcare manpower in Singapore, added MOM.
As such the sector has been committing resources to “strengthen the Singaporean core” by expanding the pipeline of fresh graduates and mid-career individuals, as well as providing traineeship, attachment and training opportunities to equip Singaporeans with relevant skills, said the ministry.
Mr Chan noted that the nature of jobs in the healthcare sector continues to evolve and is today "very different" from the impression that some might previously have had.
For one, nurses have taken on tasks previously done by doctors and have greater responsibilities within the hospital's management.
"The complexity of the tasks have increased and it provides a much more varied environment ... No two days are the same," said Mr Chan.
"Every day provides fresh challenges to the people in this profession, and it's a very noble and meaningful profession. We hope to attract more Singaporeans to join, so that we can have a higher quality healthcare sector in Singapore in service of Singaporeans."
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said the salary ranges are for local staff in their first year of joining the healthcare sector. MOM has amended its jobs situation report to add that this includes people who joined the sector with some experience.