Make nursing a national service in tandem with the military, police force and the civil defence force. This suggestion has come in a recent forum letter by a prominent professional in the maritime industry.
The letter writer, Dr Sanjay C. Kuttan, previously worked with organizations like ExxonMobil Asia Pacific and the Energy Market Authority before serving as executive director of the Singapore Maritime Institute.
He has held board, council and committee positions in the NUS C4NGP research centre, the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s school of engineering.
In his letter, published by the national broadsheet on Friday (July 31), Dr Sanjay argued that the COVID-19 pandemic had revealed how crucial nursing was when it came to the concept of Total Defence.
Asserting that “nursing is a key pillar of Total Defence” in the light of pandemics and other healthcare shocks that could come in the future, he recounted his personal experience of how the healthcare workers at Singapore General Hospital tended to him when he was admitted there recently
Dr Sanjay was especially moved by the care he received from a group of nursing interns from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and lauded ITE College East staff for “churning out such good role models for our youth.”
Recounting that he was also impressed by an ITE nursing graduate he met during his hospital stay, Dr Sanjay said: “There seemed to be many young men in this cohort of interns, which made me question why nursing is not an option for national service.”
He argued that making nursing a national service vocation would have at least two benefits — it could provide a future career path for full-time national servicemen and provide the military and similar forces with medical support.
Read his letter in full HERE.