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Contact Singapore: Opportunities for Healthcare Professionals in Singapore

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As part of the current investment in Singapore’s healthcare system, Changi General Hospital will open a new nine-storey medical centre.

We spoke to Dr Lee Chien Earn, Chief Executive Officer, Changi General Hospital, and Mr Terence Ong, Regional Director, Contact Singapore, to find out more about the opportunities available for healthcare professionals and how Contact Singapore can help with the move to Singapore.

AM: What opportunities are available for professionals within the healthcare industry in Singapore?

LCE: Singapore was ranked the healthiest country and the most efficient healthcare system in 2014 by Bloomberg. In Singapore, public healthcare is expanding to meet the needs of a growing and ageing population. The Singapore Ministry of Health is adding over 11,000 beds in new acute hospitals, community hospitals and nursing homes by 2020.

Based on this projection, Singapore will need about 20,000 more healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals by 2020, as compared to 2011.  Besides expanding the training pipelines and promoting healthcare careers locally to both students and mid-careerists, Singapore is bringing back overseas-trained Singaporeans to add to its talent pool.

AM: Can you tell us a little about the Changi General Hospital, and the improvements that will be taking place there?

LCE: Changi General Hospital (CGH) is an award-winning hospital in eastern Singapore with 1000 beds.  Our mission is to ‘To deliver the best patient care with passion and empathy’, and we offer a comprehensive range of medical specialties and services. We adopt a proactive, integrated and personalised care approach.

CGH has been at the forefront in transforming healthcare locally and internationally. Our newest facility, “The Integrated Building” with wards, clinics and rehabilitation spaces adopts design thinking principles to provide optimised rehabilitation for patients recovering from illness or surgery. We are also in the midst of building a new Medical Centre that provides complex multidisciplinary and multi-speciality outpatient care in a person-centred approach.

CGH collaborates with international partners to enhance the care for our patients. We are currently working with Geisinger Health System in USA to improve the care for our heart failure and fragile hip fracture patients. We also recently piloted a telehealth programme for heart failure patients with Philips Healthcare. CGH has also leveraged on technology such as closed loop medication management systems and automation to enhance patient safety and care for our patients.

AM: Can you offer any tips for professionals considering a move to Singapore?

TO: Singapore is one of the most liveable cities in the world. It’s a cosmopolitan city which has a number of lifestyle options to suit everyone, whether you enjoy music, sport, shopping or trying out the latest bars and restaurants.

Singapore boasts a pro-business government with modern infrastructure and an English-speaking population, providing an ideal work environment for those wanting exposure to the Asian market.

Healthcare professionals will be interested to know that Singapore is a leading healthcare provider in Asia, with over 3,000 healthcare establishments comprising public and private hospitals as well as specialty centres.  Singapore’s healthcare industry is expanding to provide greater patient-centric care. By 2030, Singapore plans to have six general hospitals, four community hospitals and 12 to 14 polyclinics. The public healthcare system is also looking to recruit 32,000 healthcare workers, including allied health professionals.

AM: How can Contact Singapore help with the process?

TO: Contact Singapore is an alliance between the Singapore Economic Development Board and the Ministry of Manpower. We actively link working professionals to relevant job opportunities, so anyone interested in applying for a position, or finding out more about what options are available, can get in touch with Contact Singapore. Contact Singapore can also help make the transition of moving to Singapore as smooth as possible. For more information about what Singapore has to offer, visit www.contactsingapore.sg. Interested candidates can also register as a member through the website to receive updates on the specialist recruitment and networking events across the UK.

Dr. Lee Chien Earn and Terence Ong were speaking to Anna-Marie MacDonald, Editor for Technology Networks.