Singapore — Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Tuesday (Feb 16) that the Government is giving foremost importance to public health, allocating S$4.8 of the new S$11 billion Covid-19 Resilience Package to Singaporeans’ overall public health, safe reopening measures and sustaining momentum for recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.
DPM Heng, who is also the Finance Minister, outlined three main prongs of the Covid-19 Resilience Package at the beginning of his Budget reading:
- To address Singapore’s immediate needs to safeguard public health and reopen safely
- To support workers and businesses where necessary
- To target support for sectors that are still under stress because of the pandemic.
Vaccinating is key
“Vaccinating our people is key,” DPM Heng said. “At the same time, we must continue to contain the spread of the virus, by keeping up our precautionary measures and our multi-layered defence system of contract tracing, testing and safe distancing.”
DPM Heng went on to “strongly encourage” all Singaporeans and residents who are medically eligible to take the vaccine when their turn comes. The minister shared the following figures — as of Feb 14, nearly 250,000 Singaporeans have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while around 55,000 people have already received their second dose.
A big part of the Covid-19 Resilience Package—nearly half of it at S$4.8 billion—will be set aside for safeguarding the health of Singaporeans and ensuring safe re-opening measures.
Healthcare workers to receive a pay rise
Healthcare workers across all public healthcare institutions—including hospitals, polyclinics and long-term care service providers will be receiving salary raises this 2021, announced DPM Heng, as the Government pays tribute to them for their exemplary service and dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our healthcare workers have, over the years, been working hard to provide us with the highest quality of care,” said DPM Heng. “Since Covid-19 hit, their exemplary commitment has shone through. Let me, once again, express our deepest appreciation to all healthcare workers for your dedication in fighting the pandemic,” he added.
All healthcare workers, along with support care staff, can look forward to better pay this 2021—a “thank you” for their care and service, not only for their work during the pandemic, but for their continued service in the coming months and years, as Singapore continues to grapple with an ageing population that will no doubt need more care.
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