More adults with autism to be employed in the healthcare sector under new agreement

2 months ago 78

SINGAPORE - Mr William Low, 22, enjoys his work at private hospital operator IHH Healthcare Singapore's (IHH SG) corporate planning department, where he checks patient records for discrepancies.

He has autism and likes the office's quiet environment which he says enables him to focus on his work well.

He has been working at IHH SG for almost a year now, and was previously employed at a private dental clinic.

"It feels good to be employed. I am making a living for myself, earning money," he added.

Mr Low is one of 15 adults with autism who have been able to land a job in the healthcare sector, as a result of a collaboration since 2019 between IHH SG and the Autism Resource Centre (ARC), a non-profit organisation that supports people on the autism spectrum.

And the number of hospital employees with autism is set to grow, with a new three-year agreement between both organisations to train and equip more people on the spectrum with skills suitable for the healthcare sector beyond IHH SG's hospitals and clinics.

This means more kinds of jobs will be open to individuals with autism, said Ms Jacelyn Lim, ARC's executive director.

IHH SG, the largest private healthcare provider in Singapore, runsfour hospitals including the Mount Elizabeth hospitals in Novena and Orchard.

The 15 employees with autism under IHH SG work in the pharmacies and radiology and medical records departments, as well as in the corporate offices. Their roles include the sorting of medication and X-ray films, and resolving data discrepancies.

"Persons on the autism spectrum do have certain traits, like attention to detail and precision, so that works quite well for the healthcare sector where patient data records are very critical," added Ms Lim.

IHH SG's chief executive Prem Kumar Nair added: "In healthcare, we are very short of staff. Healthcare is always operating at below the levels that we need. We've got two kinds of staff, those in the front line and a lot of backroom work such as bills and records management."

The memorandum of understanding between the ARC and IHH SG was inked on Sunday and witnessed by President Halimah Yacob at the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru.

Under the agreement, ARC may now train more individuals with autism for healthcare roles needed by other institutions.

The ARC's Employability and Employment Centre helps to place persons with autism in ...

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