SINGAPORE, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Health Ministry announced enhanced incentives on Saturday to encourage mid-career professionals to switch their careers to become a nurse or allied health professional starting from April next year.
The incentives announced by Minister of State for Health Amy Khor include fully-sponsored course fees and higher monthly training allowances of between 50 and 70 percent.
Singapore government is investing more in healthcare facilities to cater to an ageing population, and the demand for nurses and allied health professionals are expected to increase.
One way to grow the pool is to attract more mid-career professionals, but they will need to undergo a professional conversion program by the Workforce Development Agency.
Such programs typically cost between 62,000 Singapore dollars ( 50,407 U.S. dollars) and 68,000 Singapore dollars (55,285 U.S. dollars) for each trainee. About 20 to 30 percent of the fees are currently funded by employers, while the rest are subsidized by the Workforce Development Agency.
But from April next year, the Workforce Development Agency will bear all training fees. Monthly training allowances will also go up. Registered nurses or allied health trainees can expect to receive allowances of between 1,500 Singapore dollars and 1,700 Singapore dollars, compared the current 1,000 Singapore dollars.
"We find that one of the stress points for mid-career professionals switching into healthcare really is the loss of income during their conversion training period ... and the cost of the training itself," Khor said.