In the next few years, some 600 medical records officers and 4,000 patient service associates (PSAs) will be impacted by technology. Their job roles may no longer be required or may evolve as medical records get digitised and functions such as registration and payment get automated.
In line with that, the Healthcare Services Employees' Union (HSEU) and NTUC LearningHub (LHUB) yesterday announced they are setting up a Healthcare Academy to help workers adapt to changes, learn skills and transit to emerging jobs seamlessly.
The new academy will adopt a multi-faceted learning system to equip healthcare workers with adaptive skills to cope with changes.
Through regular engagement sessions with union members, HSEU identifies skill gaps and works with partners to help workers stay agile in the changing environment.
In the next one year, HSEU will also be working with various partners including: Ministry of Health, healthcare institutions, professional associations of various healthcare professions, and institutes of higher learning to map out the requirements for career progression, job switch and role enhancements.
In long-term, the Healthcare Academy aims to ensure sustainable employment for healthcare workers in a sector that is undergoing changes to meet future healthcare needs.
K. Thanaletchimi, president of HSEU, said: "The union is determined to work with NTUC LearningHub to help workers smoothly transit to new jobs before their current jobs disappear."
Kwek Kok Kwong, chief executive officer of LHUB, added: "Leveraging design thinking, LHUB customised the pilot programme for the first few batches of healthcare workers; and will scale it up for the rest of the sector thereafter. Against the backdrop of a fast-changing landscape, this initiative is crucial to ensure that our workers in the healthcare sectors stay ahead of the impending changes and build up their adaptive and technology skills to stay relevant and progress in their careers."
Tan Tock Seng Hospital was the first unionised hospital to work with HSEU to embark on a PSA Framework in 2013. Under this framework, 38% of 500 inpatient and outpatient PSAs are trained in one or more Value Added Services, progressing from managing hospital administrative duties to taking on clinical support and training roles.
NTUC Secretary-General, Ng Chee Meng, said: "With an ageing population, there is a growing demand for better healthcare services with the use of technologies. This is where the Healthcare Academy comes in. The Academy, in partnership with the hospitals and NTUC LearningHub, will train our healthcare workers to use new technologies and techniques; and importantly, help our workers develop a positive mindset to embrace the changes, stay relevant through skills upgrading and remain resilient in the new economy."