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 MoH to step up hiring drive

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Registration date : 2009-01-03

PostSubject: MoH to step up hiring drive   Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:50 pm

MoH to step up hiring drive
By Lee Hui Chieh

THE Health Ministry will speed up its recruitment plans to help provide jobs to those who may be retrenched in the recession, said Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Tuesday.

It is now looking to fill 4,500 positions in the public health sector over the next two years.

These jobs range from health-care professionals like nurses and pharmacists, to administrative staff like counter staff and telephone operators.

Initially, the plan was to to hire a total of 6,200 people over the next five years, Mr Khaw said.

But in light of the economic downturn, the ministry has 'decided to bring forward this plan as fast as what the labour market can support', he said.

It will also be increasing the number of training grants it is giving to people who are making a mid-career switch to become nurses, physiotherapists or occupational therapists, as well as the number of scholarships for allied health professions.

Apart from expanding job and training opportunities, the ministry has also raised the budget for Medifund, the pool of money that can be drawn on to help the needy pay for their medical bills, to $74 million this year. This is an an increase of almost 50 per cent from the amount allocated last year.

It will also launch other measures to help Singaporeans cope with the recession, if necessary. For example, it is now looking at how rules on the use of compulsory medical savings Medisave may be relaxed further to help reduce patients' out-of-pocket expenses.

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