The Straits Times: 10 support workers lauded for contributions to S’pore healthcare industry

SINGAPORE – They hailed from industries such as aviation and food and beverage, but found their calling as healthcare support workers when the chance arose.

When Mr See Yong Kang, 28, lost his job as a service crew member in a restaurant during the pandemic, he saw it as a chance to fulfil his aspirations to help others, and pursued a course under private healthcare training provider HMI Institute.

He joined Woodlands Health in 2021 as a healthcare assistant and performed well in his new vocation.

Mr See, whose duties include assisting the elderly, said a passion for helping seniors and the needy is the most important trait for someone wanting to switch to the healthcare industry.

On Monday, he was among 10 healthcare support workers who received exemplary alumni awards from the institute.

Mr See Yong Kang joined Woodlands Health in 2021 as a healthcare assistant and performed well in his new vocation. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung gave out the awards at a ceremony at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Yishun.

The HMI Institute Exemplary Award for Alumni recognises the contributions of holders of the Healthcare Support Workforce Skills Qualifications.

Another recipient, Mr Anwar Hadi Reduan, 29, was an aircraft engineer but had always been interested in physiotherapy. He studied at HMI Institute during the pandemic, and eventually graduated with a therapy support certificate in September 2020.

The therapy assistant at Woodlands Health said: “I did not find the course difficult, maybe because it was something that I had always wanted to do.”

 
Mr Anwar Hadi Reduan studied at HMI Institute during the pandemic, and eventually graduated with a therapy support certificate. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Another recipient, Ms Juniawati Santoso, was a service crew member at a restaurant before becoming a housewife for more than 10 years. Despite being out of the workforce for such a long time, she was still able to join the healthcare industry after taking up a course at HMI Institute during the pandemic.

The 41-year-old patient care assistant at Sengkang Community Hospital hopes her story will inspire others to join the industry.

At the ceremony, held as part of HMI Institute’s 20th anniversary event and annual graduation ceremony, HMI Group chief executive Chin Wei Jia announced a new $200,000 fund to support volunteer and community engagement programmes.

It will also be used to help students requiring additional financial support to complete their training to become healthcare professionals.