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Singapore's medical tourism figures revealed by health minister

Speaking in Parliament last week, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed statistics for the medical tourism sector of Singapore. Mr Khaw informed that the number of medical tourists is estimated by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) using exit surveys at Changi Airport. For year 2007 (the last year for which figures are available), there were 348,000 medical tourists. This was 15% less than the previous year, 2006 (410,000). While tourist numbers dropped, the dollar value expenditure went up to $1.7 billion (+30%) over that period.

New training centre for healthcare workers

A new training and certification centre for rank-and-file healthcare workers has been established. The centre, located at Jalan Bukit Merah, was officially opened by Acting Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong on 16 January 2009. It will be run by Health Management International Ltd (HMI), a private healthcare and education/training provider.

With support from the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), trainees will get grants of up to 90% for their course fees under the agency's Skills Programme for Upgrading and Resilience (SPUR).