17 Nov 2018

Speech by Dr Chia Shi-Lu, Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC at the inaugural MDISSpeeches

Good morning,

Dr Eric Kuan, President of the Management Development Institute of Singapore;
Dr R Theyvendran, Secretary-General of the Management Development Institute of Singapore;
Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice Chancellor, Edinburgh Napier University;

Ms Naomi Graham, Vice Principal, International, Edinburgh Napier University;

Faculty Members of the Edinburgh Napier University;

Distinguished Guests;

Graduands and Parents;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1  I am delighted to be here today to celebrate the MDIS- Edinburgh Napier University Graduation Ceremony and thank you for inviting me to this event.  

2  This is a special event as it is the inaugural graduation and especially memorable for you because you are the very first batch of graduating students from MDIS and Edinburgh Napier University (or ENU).   I extend my heartiest congratulations to each and every one of you on your academic success!

3  The MDIS School of Nursing, Singapore’s first dedicated nursing school in the Private Education sector, was initiated in 2017. In May 2018, I was invited by MDIS to  grace the official opening of the School, and it gives me great pleasure to know that today, a total of 47 nurses are graduating with the Bachelor of Science Nursing (Top-up) degree from ENU.       

4  I also understand that currently there are 153 students enrolled in the ENU degree programme, which is accredited by the Singapore Nursing Board.  I am glad to note that enrolment numbers are growing and this will help address the manpower needs of the healthcare industry. 

5  Graduands, all of you have made tremendous sacrifices as full-time nurses;  working and studying at the same time to attain a degree qualification to upgrade your knowledge and skills.   This is not an easy feat, given the rigours of nursing, which is a highly demanding job. I would like to take this opportunity to commend you on the sacrifices you have made, the effort you put in for your patients, and the passion you show to your job.

Nursing Profession
6  Nursing is a very special profession. It takes a very strong, intelligent and compassionate person to take on the ills of the world with passion and purpose, to take care of the health and well-being of others.  Being a nurse is one of the most selfless acts a person can do.  In a society of different races, cultures, customs and beliefs, nurses are a universal gift to all.   The dedicated work that they do and the kindness that they deliver on a daily basis should serve as a reminder of the fundamental humanity inside of all of us.

7  Nurses are also an integral part of every medical and surgical patient care team. Nurses work together to provide the best care possible for patients, through research, education, quality and safety initiatives. Nurses are a valued and respected member of a team of medical professionals and they are recognised for their high level of clinical skills, passion and commitment to nursing excellence.

8  Nurses have the power to change people’s life for the better. They are the heart and soul of the healthcare system.  Nursing is also a rewarding and fulfilling career where individuals work selflessly, and it requires special individuals who have a true passion in caring for others.  

Healthcare System in Singapore
9  Nurses also play a very important role in ensuring a sustainable healthcare system in Singapore. The ageing population, coupled with the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases have led to an escalation of the complexity of care needs, which now require closer collaboration between health professionals, care agencies and community organisations. As such, the role of nurses will continue to expand and evolve along with the transformation of our healthcare system to meet the future needs of the sector.   

10  With an integrated healthcare system encompassing hospitals, care agencies and community hospitals, patient care will become increasingly complex and challenging, with new technologies, innovations and productivity taking the lead in the healthcare service sector.  Therefore, in order to deliver better care to patients, health institutions will have to constantly review and re-design jobs and use technology in diverse ways to increase proficiency and productivity.

11  Through the use of technology, job re-design, productivity improvements and flexi work hours, greater efficiencies can be created for the healthcare workforce.  This will enable healthcare professionals to continue to enjoy fulfilling careers, be future-ready and remain longer in service.

12  Continuous learning to upgrade your knowledge and skills will also give you the competitive edge to embrace changes and remain industry relevant. In doing so, you will be moving the Singapore healthcare system forward towards a transformation for an enhanced healthcare industry.   

In closing
13  You are a special group of individuals and the work you do is magnanimous and the relationships you build with your patients will enrich your professional lives manifold.

14  Once again, my best wishes to you on your graduation and to MDIS and Edinburgh Napier University in their support towards the healthcare industry, in Singapore and the region.

Thank you.