Singapore has launched a new network structured to redesign jobs, develop new training programmes and design a sustainable healthcare system on 21 October.

The Centre of Healthcare Innovation (CHI) Co-Learning Network has gathered 21 partners from healthcare and other relevant industries and is expected to have more joining in time. International partners include centres from Thailand, Sweden and New Zealand, while local partners comprise Alexandra Health Systems, National Healthcare Group, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and the Tsao Foundation.

Meeting the needs of Singapore's ageing population

The Minister of State for Health Chee Hong Tat announced the launch and said that the network is expected to meet the needs of Singapore's ageing population and slowing labour force growth. He also said that the designing of future hospitals is one example of how the network is useful. CHI Co-Learning Network has already began co-designing the upcoming National Centre for Infectious Diseases, Sengkang General Hospital, Woodlands Integrated Health Campus and other healthcare facilities.

Mr Chee said that the network will also focus on transforming the healthcare workforce through job redesign and technology through reviewing existing policies to ensure that these can support new models of care.

"We... also need to train more community care support workers to look after the elderly and enable them to age well and age in place," he added, stating that plans have been set to develop new training pedagogies for the healthcare workforce. In addition, the use of robotics is to be explored so that healthcare staff can focus on more important tasks to meet the needs of patients.

30,000 more healthcare workers needed by 2020

The launch comes a day after Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said that Singapore will need to rethink the geriatric care as the country till need 30,000 more healthcare workers by 2020 due to the ageing population and the chronic ailments that they will suffer from.

The CHI will be ready by late 2018 and is expected to be the largest centre for healthcare innovation in Singapore. I will include simulation labs and Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibition (MICE) facilities to support the network.

It will be supported by the Ng Teng Fong Healthcare Innovation Programme, with an endowment fund of S$52 million to drive healthcare innovation and training. MIMS

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