SINGAPORE – The Philippines is suspending the permits for nurses who want to work abroad with immediate effect.
This move may affect Singapore’s nursing workforce, where about a third consists of foreign nationals, according to a report by The Straits Times. This affects nurses as well as nursing aides and assistants.
According to Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH), around 7,600 employees in its nursing workforce were from the Philippines, as at end 2019.
Filipinos Form Singapore’s Largest Pool of Foreign Nurses
Based on data from the Singapore Nursing Board 2019 annual report, Filipino nurses formed the largest pool of foreign nurses in Singapore. In 2019, Filipinos comprised about 29% of enrolled nurses and 15% of all registered nurses with higher qualifications.
Singapore’s next largest source of registered nurses is from Malaysia, with 2,351 Malaysian nationals in 2019.
Other key sources of nurses are Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China, and Myanmar.
Nursing workforce needs to be supplemented by foreigners
“MOH will continue to assess the situation and ensure that our nursing workforce is able to meet our healthcare needs,” said an MOH spokesperson.
New nurses from overseas can continue to help Singapore boost its workforce, as well as provide relief for those in the healthcare sector, who have been coping with a difficult past 1.5 years due to Covid-19.
In March this year, Singapore said it would raise the salaries of nurses and other healthcare workers in the public healthcare sector by 3 to 14 per cent from July.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have raised important questions on the future of the healthcare sector in Singapore.
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