Highlights from the Honorary Secretary

Ng Chew Lip

House officer Telegram helpline chatbot

The SMA Doctors-in-Training (DIT) Committee recently created an SMA House Officer (HO) Support Programme Helpline chatbot on Telegram to provide support to HOs by consolidating useful resources they may require through their first year in the hospital wards, as well as addressing some of their queries.

Users will be able to download helpful materials (eg, SMA's HO Handbook), access mental health resources, or even talk to someone. The chatbot is manned by volunteer doctors.

The chatbot can be accessed by searching for @smahospbot in the Telegram app, or by scanning the QR code below.

If you need professional assistance, please reach out to:

  • Samaritans of Singapore: 1-767
  • Silver Ribbon Singapore: 6385 3714
  • Institute of Mental Health's Mental Health Helpline: 6389 2222
  • TOUCHline (Counselling): 1800 377 2252
  • National Care Hotline: 1800 202 6868

Meeting with Dr Koh Poh Koon on junior doctors workforce issues

Representatives from the SMA DIT Committee met with Senior Minister of State (SMS), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Manpower, Dr Koh Poh Koon, on 23 February 2022. Participants discussed various challenges faced by the junior doctors workforce such as working hours, feeling underappreciated and the uncertainty in their career paths. Even with current efforts by the MOH and MOH Holdings (MOHH) in addressing these issues systematically, there remain residual gaps in these efforts. At the end of the discussion, SMS Koh, MOH, MOHH and SMA committed to having quarterly meetings to discuss and work towards resolving junior doctors workforce issues.

National Wellness Committee for Junior Doctors

MOH has convened a National Wellness Committee for Junior Doctors to comprehensively study and review junior doctor wellness. Examples of areas under review are working conditions, work hours, career development and support mechanisms. SMA welcomes the formation of this committee, and the SMA Council and DIT Committee are represented in some workstreams under the committee.

Webinar on COVID-19 infection and vaccination for children

SMA was a supporting organisation for the webinar titled "Update on COVID-19 Infection in Children and Dialogue with MOH on COVID-19 Vaccination for Children 5 to 11 Years Old" held on 4 December 2021.

Participants were provided with an update on COVID-19 infection in children, including management of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, and a panel discussion on COVID-19 vaccination for children aged five to 11 years old.

Panellists from MOH; College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Singapore; and Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination contributed to a fruitful discussion.

Ng Chew Lip is an ENT consultant in public service. After a day of doctoring and cajoling the kids at home to finish their food, his idea of relaxation is watching a drama serial with his lovely wife and occasionally throwing some paint on a canvas.