The Ministry of Health (MOH) has responded to concerns raised by a group of frontline healthcare workers over their exclusion from the COVID-19 Resilience Medal. The ministry emphasized that while the aim was to be inclusive, not everyone who contributed to Singapore’s fight against the pandemic was awarded the medal.
MOH acknowledged that the awards honored leaders and organizations on behalf of the entire team, emphasizing the collective “whole-of-society” effort that led the country to emerge stronger from the crisis.
Earlier this week, an anonymous group of more than 100 healthcare workers, including nurses, doctors, swabbers, and social workers, penned an open letter addressed to MOH and Health Minister Ong Ye Kung.
The letter was published by the Instagram account @thehonesthealthcareworker, which expressed disappointment over the exclusion of many pandemic frontline workers from the commendation.
In this open letter, the healthcare workers express their disappointment and frustration at not receiving medals for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic. They state that their names were omitted from the list of awardees, despite providing direct care and making sacrifices on the frontlines. They express confusion about the nomination process and criteria, claiming that some who did not provide direct care were honored while they were overlooked.
The healthcare workers emphasize that they are not seeking monetary rewards, but rather recognition for their hard work and dedication. They request to be remembered and for their names to be included alongside their colleagues on the list of awardees.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Singapore has stated that it took an inclusive approach when awarding the COVID-19 Resilience Medals, without setting quotas on the number of recipients.
To qualify for the award, individuals must have contributed to managing the public health crisis during the pandemic, supported frontline operations, managed the consequences on the economy or social cohesion, or supported supply chains. Nominations were submitted by healthcare institutions and industry partners from October 2020 to March 2021, with justification required for each nominee.
The list of awardees was published in May, and more recipients were added from the healthcare sector in the following months. MOH expressed its gratitude to all those who contributed to keeping Singapore safe during the pandemic.
In response to the Ministry of Health’s explanation of the nomination process being rigorous, the healthcare workers provide an example of a doctor who was forgotten despite meeting the criteria. They suggest that other forgotten frontliners may not come forward due to fear of appearing desperate for a medal and propose that the Ministry create a channel for them to be recognized.
The group stated that they had provided direct care on the frontlines since the onset of the pandemic and questioned why they were overlooked.
They expressed a desire for recognition and remembrance for the sacrifices they made, hoping that their names would be acknowledged for future generations to appreciate their service to the country during its time of need.
MOH’s COVID-19 Resilience Medals, awarded to individuals and teams, aim to honor those who have made substantial contributions to Singapore’s fight against the infectious disease.
Over 110,000 people were awarded the medals during a carnival event at the F1 Pit Building from December 10 to December 14.
In response to the open letter, MOH announced that it would review the nomination process for the awards and provide further clarification. The ministry expressed gratitude for the dedication and selflessness of all frontline workers and assured them that their efforts were deeply valued, regardless of their recognition through the medal.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Singapore has responded to queries regarding the COVID-19 Resilience Medals, stating that it aimed to be inclusive while maintaining a rigorous nomination process.
There were no quotas set on the number of recipients. To qualify for the medal, individuals had to have played a significant role in managing the pandemic on the frontlines or in supporting frontline operations.
The nomination process took place from October 2020 to March 2021, with the list of awardees published in May. MOH then added more awardees from the healthcare sector in response to appeals, although the exact number was not disclosed. Those who have yet to collect their medals will be contacted by their respective institutions for direct collection. MOH expressed gratitude to all who contributed to Singapore’s pandemic response.
In the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, our healthcare workers have stood at the frontlines, working tirelessly day and night to keep us safe. Recently, Singapore introduced the Covid Resilience Medal to recognize the incredible efforts of these heroes. However, it is disheartening to know that not all healthcare workers have been awarded this token of appreciation.
To those healthcare workers who did not receive the Covid Resilience Medal, please do not worry. You don’t need a medal to validate the immense dedication and hard work you have poured into your profession during these challenging times. Your contributions have not gone unnoticed, and the impact you have made on the lives of countless Singaporeans is deeply appreciated.
Over the years, Singapore has witnessed the unwavering commitment of our healthcare workers. They have been the pillars that support our society’s well-being, showing unwavering strength and resilience amidst adversity. We have witnessed their countless sacrifices, the long shifts, the sleepless nights, and the emotional toll that this pandemic has taken on them.
Although a medal might symbolize recognition, it should not be the sole measure of appreciation. True gratitude lies in the hearts of those you’ve touched with your selfless actions. The countless lives you have saved, the comfort you have provided, and the sense of security you have bestowed upon us are the true testaments to your courage and dedication.
Rest assured that Singaporeans are acutely aware of your sacrifices, and our gratefulness extends far beyond any medal. We recognize you as the true warriors of our time, fighting an invisible enemy with all your might. It is your hard work, resilience, and unwavering commitment that will be etched in our minds and hearts forever.
So, to all the healthcare heroes who stood tall, selflessly serving throughout this unprecedented crisis, continue to find solace in the fact that you have made a difference that cannot be diminished by the absence of a medal. Your actions and the lives you have touched speak volumes, and Singaporeans will remain forever indebted to you.
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