Speech by Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong, at the Inauguration of NUS Master of Science in Audi

Associate Professor Benjamin Ong, Chief Executive, NUHS Professor John Wong, Deputy Chief Executive, NUHS Associate Professor Yeoh Khay Guan, Dean, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Dr Roger Radke, Group President & CEO, Siemens Audiology Solutions Distinguished Guests Ladies & Gentlemen
 
1. I am delighted to be here today at the inauguration of the National University of Singapore Master of Science in Audiology programme.
2. Audiologists are integral members of the healthcare teams in our institutions. They work alongside our Ear, Nose and Throat specialists and doctors to provide care for our elderly and patients with hearing, balance and related impairments. They do so by providing diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative services for these patients, helping them to optimise their ability to hear and communicate. With improved hearing,these patients would find it easier to be integrated back into the
community and enjoy better physical and emotional well-being.
3. In a National Health Survey conducted in 2010, one in five Singaporeans between 50 and 59 years old, and one in four between 60 and 69 years old suffer from some degree of hearing impairment. The incidence of hearing loss and impairment continues to increase with each decade of life. Presently, we have around 30 audiologists working in the public healthcare institutions. To meet the healthcare needs of our ageing population, we need to grow our audiologist manpower pool
and continually develop their capabilities.
4. The commencement of the Master of Science in Audiology programme in NUS is a significant milestone for the Audiology profession in Singapore, opening its first local training pathway. The programme has enrolled 18 students for its inaugural intake this year and the intake will increase progressively, based on our healthcare needs.
5. We will continue to provide Audiology scholarships to Singaporeans to grow our healthcare talent pipeline. In 2013, we
offered 6 scholarships to Singaporeans to study Audiology under MOH’s Healthcare Graduate Studies Award. All of them will be pursuing their studies in NUS’s Master of Science in Audiology programme.
6. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Health started a campaign to raise awareness of the roles of different groups of allied health professionals,including audiologists, and their career advancement opportunities.Through this, we hope to attract more Singaporeans to join the healthcare sector.
7. I am happy to note that Siemens Medical Instruments Pte Ltd has come alongside NUS to support the set-up of this programme. Their generous donation has, amongst other things, enabled the creation of an Audiology SMART classroom which enhances clinical learning through seamless teleconferences on patient consultations and overseas lectures.
8. I wish NUS Audiology Programme every success and the students in the programme an enriching and fulfilling learning experience.
 
Thank you.