• More than 250 SCDF paramedics to undergo attachments at the emergency departments of Singapore General Hospital and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital to strengthen clinical skills and competencies
• Senior paramedics to be trained as clinical instructors and educators 
• First-ever national paramedic educator training programme to be jointly developed

Singapore, 11 January 2017 – SingHealth and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to advance pre-hospital emergency care and training for paramedics in Singapore. Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, witnessed the signing ceremony between Professor Ivy Ng, Group Chief Executive Officer of SingHealth and Mr Eric Yap, Commissioner of SCDF.

Training Paramedics to Meet Current and Future Needs

 Under the memorandum which spans six years from now till 2023, more than 250 SCDF paramedics will undergo attachments at the emergency departments of Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) to strengthen their clinical skills and competencies.

The training, which focuses on clinical documentation, handover of patients to the hospital’s emergency care teams, pre-hospital assessment and treatment, aims to empower the paramedics to better respond to different kinds of emergencies when on ambulance duty.

A major part of the skills training will be conducted in simulated environments at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Medical Simulation (SIMS). Using high-fidelity simulation, the paramedics will train under simulated emergency and resuscitation scenarios and practise new technologies and procedures in a safe and ‘realistic’ setting.

In addition, a select group of senior paramedics will undergo a Train-the-Trainer programme to be trained as clinical instructors and educators. This will form a multiplier effect as SCDF progressively grows the number of paramedics in Singapore and creates a new career pathway known as paramedic educators.

To support the professional development of paramedic educators, a first-ever national paramedic educator training programme will also be jointly developed by SingHealth and SCDF. 

Enhancing Quality of Medical Dispatch

As part of ongoing efforts to improve pre-hospital emergency care and bystander CPR rate, the number of SGH nurses seconded to SCDF 995 Operations Centre will be increased from four to fourteen. These nurses will assist with medical call taking, enhance medical triage processes and conduct medical dispatch research. Prior to the secondment, the nurses will also undergo a structured orientation to familiarise themselves with the operations of SCDF’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

“This MOU is a significant milestone and testament to our continued efforts to improve pre-hospital emergency care so that more lives can be saved. SingHealth and SCDF will work closely together in the areas of paramedical training, medical dispatch and research to meet the growing needs of our ageing population,” said Professor Ivy Ng, Group CEO of SingHealth.

“Beyond clinical care, the MOU underscores a long-term partnership in education and research that will enable SCDF to further enhance its ‘geriatric’-ready Emergency Medical Services to address the evolving needs of our community,” said Mr Eric Yap, Commissioner of SCDF. 

Boosting Health Manpower Training and Development

At the event today, SingHealth also launched five colleges and a medical simulation institute under its education arm, SingHealth Academy, in line with the Government’s Healthcare 2020 Manpower plan to grow a strong local core of healthcare professionals.

Currently, SingHealth’s institutions handle about 50 per cent of the nation’s clinical teaching load annually. On an average day, SingHealth trains over 700 medical, nursing, pharmacy, and allied health students as well as over 1,000 medical residents. The Group expects training numbers to grow in tandem with the Ministry’s projected growth for health manpower.

The new colleges and institute launched today include the College of Clinical Medicine, College of Clinical Nursing, College of Allied Health, College of Clinical Dentistry, College of Healthcare Administration and Leadership, as well as the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Medical Simulation.

Building on the collective strengths of the Colleges, SingHealth Academy will offer a wide range of training across the full continuum – from undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, continuing professional education to faculty development. Emphasis will be placed on inter-professional training through simulation and team-based learning to enable healthcare professionals to work more effectively in multidisciplinary teams to improve outcomes for patients.