Nursing is a profession, not a job just anybody can do: doctor

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Director of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health has paid tribute to the role of nurses in Singapore's healthcare system.

Writing on the Health Ministry's Facebook page, Professor K Satkunanantham said he had to write the post as a doctor and as the Director of Medical Services, because of the events that unfolded over the last couple of days.

He stressed that nursing is not a job that just anybody can do - it is a profession.

Prof Satku explained that it takes a special kind of person to be a nurse - someone who is compassionate, caring, and who is willing to put the interests of others above their own.

He said nurses are often specially trained, and need to keep up with new developments in their field.

They work in difficult situations, and have to remain professional in the face of challenges.

As a surgeon, Prof Satku said he has worked with very highly-trained nurses, without whom much of his work would have been impossible.

In the operating theatre, nurses ensure that the most complex operations are carried out smoothly.

In the wards, nurses work to ensure the well-being of patients and continue to do so long after everyone else has gone home.

Prof Satku said nurses are often under-appreciated and taken for granted.

He said Singapore's healthcare system would not function without nurses as hospitals, clinics and hospices rely on them.

Prof Satku thanked all those in the nursing profession.

On Friday, on the concluding day of the debate on the White Paper, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean issued a corrigendum to the document in Parliament in relation to footnote 12 on page 40 of the White Paper.

The footnote included two sentences - "Certain low-skilled jobs like personal services, retail, and nursing are hard to offshore. They will still be needed even as the economy upgrades".

Mr Teo said this segment will be deleted.

Mr Teo said this classification of low-skilled jobs is not correct and apologised to those whose professions have been unintentionally misrepresented.

Mr Teo said he personally has the greatest respect for the nursing profession. He said it is a noble and caring profession that all depend on and appreciate.

Mr Teo said the matter was brought to his attention by friends in the nursing profession and unions.

- CNA/xq

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