Overworked? MOH says attrition rate for local and foreign nurses increased in 2021
The attrition rate rose to 7.4% and 14.8%, respectively.
The attrition rate for local and foreign nurses went up in 2021 from a decrease in 2020, rising to 7.4% and 14.8%, respectively.
This is despite an increase in the median annual salaries of staff nurses (SNs) to $58,500, and senior staff nurses (SSNs) to $87,600 in 2021.
To retain nurses, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said it will review the scope of work that nurses are doing to enable them to spend more time on direct patient care.
Currently, the nurse-to-patient ratio for general wards in public acute hospitals is one nurse per four or five beds, and one to one or one-to-two in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“Our public healthcare institutions adopt a multi-prong approach to reduce the administrative workload for nurses and enable nurses to focus on patient care. This includes streamlining care processes and deploying dedicated administrative and support care to assist nurses,” said the MOH.
“Over time, we have also introduced innovations in automation, technology, robotics, and AI-enabled technology to assist nurses and healthcare staff, to ease the load of non-clinical and administrative tasks,” the MOH added.
Other than reviewing nurses’ workload, MOH said there were healthcare clusters formed to ensure the well-being of nurses like the Staff Well-being Committee in 2019.
“With the easing of COVID-19, public healthcare institutions have been allowing nurses to take time off work to rest and recover. This includes allowing foreign staff to return home to spend time with their loved ones, after a long period away from them in 2020 and 2021 when many borders were closed and travel restrictions in effect,” added the MOH.
Meanwhile, the MOH also assured the public that there will be sufficient nurses on the ground. In 2021, MOH said Singapore had 2,100 stock of nurses.