Dear Fellow Nurses, The erroneous description of the healthcare profession in the White Paper on Population was unfortunate. I would like to share my letter sent on 8 Feb afternoon to both Minister for Health and DPM Teo, sent out in my capacity as President, Singapore Nurses Association.

A/Prof Lim Swee Hia
President, Singapore Nurses Association


Dear Sirs,

We welcome the clarification and apology by DPM Teo in Parliament ; and the amendment made to the White Paper on the footnote which incorrectly labelled healthcare profession, amongst others as “low-skilled”, by NPTD. We await the corrigendum which shall certainly set the record straight.

Taken in context, that healthcare is spared the reduction in foreign intake is a relief. Our patients can be assured that nursing care do not suffer because of manpower crunch. The nursing profession has evolved in the last decade. Nurses today go beyond mere caring of patients’ basic needs. They have deep expertise. In our public healthcare institutions, many have taken on clinical tasks which used to be performed by doctors. We see more of our bright and young choosing to join the profession. They become much better qualified, possessing Bachelor of Science Nursing, Master and PHD and specialization certificates. As a profession, nurses are regulated by our own Nursing board, like doctors, dentists and pharmacists.

We will persist with our quest to pursue nursing excellence so that Singaporeans will continue to receive quality care in our hospitals.

Lim Swee Hia
President, Singapore Nurses Association

This letter was reproduced in part in The Straits Times on 10 Feb 2013, where it highlighted the comment by SNA President that nursing required “deep expertise”, please note the newspaper clipping “ Health officials in strong defence of Nurses”, ST on 10 Feb.

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