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Mum alleges daughter was denied university degree sponsorship due to SGH’s nursing manpower crunch

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“I am not sure how many other nursing students faces (sic) the same issue as my daughter. The reason given by SGH is simply unreasonable and irresponsible. As a parent, their response is totally unacceptable.” — Mdm Teo

The mother of a polytechnic student with a diploma bond appealed to the Singapore General Hospital after her daughter was denied a university sponsorship to pursue a degree in nursing with NUS/SIT.

In an email to TISG, the student’s mother, Madam Teo, wrote: “E* has been scoring well for her full three years with NYP with a minimum scoring of 3.2 on each semester and have not once scored anything below. Im sure SGH is aware of this as she has been receiving additional pay outs for her good school results. Last year, E also received Edusave Merit Bursary, awarded by my estate MP, Mr Baey YK, in recognition of her being top 25% of cohort”.

“SGH has contacted me to inform the reason for my daugher’s rejection is because SGH is short of manpower and would want all nursing student whom has graduated from Polytechnic to start work to help with the manpower crunch,” she added.

TISG has reached out to SGH to verify the details of this because, though Mdm Teo believes her daughter was not allowed to convert her diploma scholarship to a university scholarship due to SGH’s manpower crunch, the complete reasons are unknown. 

Mdm Teo explained that her daughter signed a bond with the hospital during her first year with Ngee Ann Polytechnic. The bond would start after she finished her diploma and would be for three years as a Staff Nurse 2.

However, because of a personal experience where Mdm Teo was not able to get the job she wanted in a hospital because of a lack of a university degree, she wanted her daughter to pursue a degree as well.

But when E applied to SGH to have her diploma sponsorship be converted to a University degree sponsorship instead, the hospital refused, citing a manpower shortage and stating that they would want E to start work with them instead of pursuing a degree.

According to Mdm Teo, the hospital also gave her two options for her daughter.

1. That E could defer the bond with SGH and pursue a degree that would be funded by herself,
or
2. Start work with SGH as per the bond and apply again later on for her university education to be sponsored.
Mdm Teo said that she wanted her daughter to get a degree in nursing as it would mean she starts working with a higher position of Staff Nurse 1 right away instead of Staff Nurse 2. She also added that she was not keen for her child to start working and then apply to study because the situation may not be the same as to allow her to study, she said.
“As a parent, it breaks my heart. My child with good academic results had to forgo her university dream just because the hospital has manpower issue. Is this to happen at the child’s expense. Is her future not important at all?

I am not sure how many other nursing students faces (sic) the same issue as my daughter. The reason given by SGH is simply unreasonable and irresponsible. As a parent, their response is totally unacceptable,” Mdm Teo said.

At the time of writing, the family had written to SGH to defer E’s commencement of work so that she can pursue a self-funded University degree. However, the family still awaits a response from SGH regarding their appeal to convert her diploma sponsorship to a degree sponsorship.

TISG has reached out to SGH on Mar 14 at 6:17 pm and on Mar 16 at 4:48 pm via email. There has been no response from SGH at the time of writing.


UPDATE: Responding to TISG’s queries at 2:32 pm on Mar 18, Ms Tan Yang Noi, Chief Human Resource Officer, Singapore General Hospital said:

“SGH offers a myriad of learning and education opportunities for its employees, including nurses, to upgrade and upskill themselves. These could, for instance, be in the form of sponsorships, scholarships and bursaries for those who wish to further their studies. Applicants, however, must meet the eligibility criteria for their applications to be considered.

In respect of PDPA, we are unable to disclose details of Ms E’s* application. We have been in touch with Ms E* and her mother, to discuss and explain the outcome of her application. We understand that they have made a decision regarding Ms E’s* education endeavour, and we wish her the very best.” /TISG


*E – Name has been redacted to protect privacy

 

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