Singapore Is Offering Its Nurses RM350K Bonus To Stay In The Public Health System

About 29,000 nurses will be eligible for the payout, including foreign nurses with four years of service in the country.

Cover image via AFP/New Straits Times & New Straits Times

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Singapore is offering a bonus of up to SGD100,000 (approximately RM356,600) to incentivise nurses to remain in the public health system

According to the New Straits Times, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung announced on Tuesday, 20 February, that around 29,000 nurses, including foreign nurses with at least four years of service in the country, will be eligible for this financial incentive.

"We want to support our nurses to do a good job," Ong said.

The initiative aims to curb the shortage of nurses and a swiftly ageing population of the city state

Ong highlighted that COVID-19 had exacerbated the nursing shortage in Singapore, with a higher than normal attrition rate of foreign nurses leaving during the pandemic.

The majority of foreign nurses in Singapore come from neighbouring countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, and Myanmar.

Under the incentive scheme, Ong announced that nurses can receive up to SGD100,000 over a period of 20 years, or until their retirement age, whichever comes first

According to CNA, newly-recruited nurses and nurses aged below 46 will receive a payout of SGD20,000 (RM71,300) to SGD30,000 (RM107,000) every four to six years.

Meanwhile, nurses aged 46 and above with at least five years of service will receive an immediate award of SGD5,000 (RM17,800) to SGD15,000 (RM53,500), followed by an accelerated payout path of SGD15,000 every three years until retirement.

The initiative follows last year's introduction of a SGD15,000 sign-on bonus for fresh nursing graduates who chose to join public hospitals or clinics.

Ong said intake numbers for nursing students increased by about 30% from 2013 to 2023.

"It is worth pointing out that with falling birthrates, fewer babies, and shrinking student cohorts, just keeping these intakes stable is a very encouraging outcome," said Ong.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via New Straits Times

Singapore, like many other Asian nations, is grappling with the challenges posed by an ageing population

The health ministry predicts that by 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be 65 or older, and approximately 83,000 seniors are expected to live alone.

Meanwhile, healthcare professionals in Malaysia have long been calling the government to adjust their remuneration packages:

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