Singapore needs 30,000 workers in health sector in the next four years
A carer feeds a resident on a wheelchair at the private nursing home "Silver Villa Koyama" in Tokyo, Japan, September 14, 2016. Picture taken on September 14, 2016. REUTERS

The health care sector in Singapore will face a challenging staffing situation in the near future on account of the fast ageing of the population and the government is intent on developing a 'strong Singaporean core' in the sector.

The country will require as many as 30,000 additional workers in the health sector by 2020, the health ministry's manpower plan released on Thursday showed. The plan says the ministry is rolling out several initiatives to ramp up the number of health workers in the country.

According to the manpower plan, Singapore will equip healthcare workforce with the skills required for the care of ageing population. The government plan says the focus will be on developing a "local core" in health services. Measures will be taken to attract new school graduates to take up health care profession. There will also be an effort to seek care professionals through mid-career recruitment.

Singapore will see a 30 percent rise in the number of doctors by 2019, the ministry said.

"In tandem with our aspirations to become a Smart Nation, public healthcare institutions are endeavouring to deliver more efficient and productive services through the use of technology," the ministry statement said.

The ministry said scholarships and sponsorships will be awarded to young Singaporeans to attract them to the health sector.

"Only if we all share the same vision of what a good healthcare system is for tomorrow is, and what the important skills and career options are, can we build a healthcare system that will serve Singaporeans well for many more years to come," Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said.