Amid reports of landlords shunning TTSH health workers, MOH extends support

a group of people standing in the snow © The Independent Singapore

Singapore— Healthcare workers should be supported and not shunned, says Ministry of Health (MOH) director of medical services Kenneth Mak.

Following the Covid-19 cluster at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), he had heard reports of the TTSH workers being told by the landlords that they were no longer welcome because of where they worked.

The Government is arranging hotels for some of them to stay, said Assoc Prof Mak, speaking at a virtual multi-ministry task force press conference on Covid-19 on Tuesday (May 4).

He said this in reply to a journalist.

The journalist said hotel guests have received word to cancel their scheduled staycations to give way to the Government with Covid-19 endeavours, according to mustsharenews.

Assoc Prof Mak expressed concern over landlords shunning TTSH workers.

The Straits Times reports him as saying, “This is a concern for us because these workers are well and they have committed a lot of time and energy towards looking after patients in TTSH.

TTSH is the site of the largest cluster of Covid-19 infections in Singapore, with 40 cases. 

Among these cases are 10 healthcare workers.

Now healthcare workers are asking MOH for help with accommodation.

“So we (also) endeavour to support them, (by) making sure that they have… accommodation through this difficult time, when they are being called up to do much more than what they would normally be expected to,” he said.

In some cases, the healthcare workers themselves are requesting to be accommodated apart from their family members due to an out of “an abundance of caution”, said Addoc Prof Mak, and not because their presence is an added risk to their families.

The MOH director also appealed for support to be shown to the healthcare workers.

At the beginning of the pandemic, people cheered and clapped for healthcare workers in Singapore, as well as in many places around the world, even if there were also occasional stories of nurses and other hospital staff shunned on public transport vehicles or being discriminated against elsewhere.

But back then, the amount of support was greater than the shunning.

And as Singapore faces a fresh uptick in Covid-19 cases, a show of support is “very important” at this time, he added.

Assoc Prof Mak underlined how health workers have been working long and hard to take care of both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients alike.


Amid reports of landlords shunning TTSH health workers, MOH extends support