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According to The Ministry of Health Singapore (MOH), it will allocate S$35m to fund the salaries of 100 clinical research coordinators (CRC) for the next five years, along with the implementation of national training and certification programmes.
Speaking at the Singapore Clinical Research Institute (SCRI) 3rd Annual Scientific Symposium, Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Health commented: “As Singapore’s population ages and the prevalence of chronic diseases increases, we need to build a future-ready and sustainable healthcare system to meet these challenges.”
In fact, the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) will continue to provide funding to strengthen the clinical research landscape in Singapore through its research grants and human capital awards that support translational and clinical research.
With this year’s symposium theme being “Advancing Clinical Research through Expertise Development”, it highlights how skilled professionals such as the CRCs play an important role in supporting doctors and principal investigators in the execution of quality clinical research that meets international standards.
In his speech, Dr Lam explained how CRCs would need to work with patients during patient screening, explain the trial procedures and details to the patients during recruitment and keep proper documentation of the patients’ and trial information. He said that they play a key role in ensuring good patient recruitment, which is critical to the success of clinical trials.
Dr Lam remarked: “We see the importance in nurturing and developing this group of professionals. Under the Research, Innovation, Enterprise or RIE 2020 plan, MOH has allocated $35 million to maintain a steady pipeline of qualified CRCs through funding the salaries of 100 CRCs for the next five years and the implementation of national training and certification programmes.”
During the event, he also announced the launch of the SCRI Academy – a virtual training academy which will house the training efforts for these CRCs.
The first programme under the academy is slated to start by March 2018, where the programme will train existing CRCs with less than one year experience through hands-on practice and classroom exercises.
Additionally, SCRI will work with Workforce Singapore on a professional conversion programme targeting mid-career switchers with no clinical research background.
Photo / 123RF