Left: Val Foo Fang Jing - Staff Nurse at Parkway East Hospital, received the Parkway Nursing Sponsorship, now rebranded as IHH Healthcare Singapore Scholarship.
Right: Nur Fathimah Binte Mohamed Sham - Radiographer at Gleneagles Hospital, attained her degree from University of Hertfordshire under the Parkway Allied Health Sponsorship, now rebranded as IHH Healthcare Singapore Scholarship.
Whilst Mount Elizabeth, Gleneagles, and Parkway are household names in Singapore's healthcare scene, it is not commonly known to many that they all belong to IHH Healthcare (IHH). A leading international healthcare services provider, IHH also owns reputable healthcare brands, like Acibadem in Turkey, and Prince Court and Pantai in Malaysia, and employs over 65,000 people across 80 hospitals in 10 countries.
IHH Healthcare Singapore (IHH SG) manages the Gleneagles, Mount Elizabeth & Parkway healthcare brands in Singapore.
Another aspect of IHH's reach and scale is the unique scholarships and career opportunities it offers.
Val Foo, Staff Nurse at Parkway East Hospital, and Nur Fathimah Binte Mohamed Sham, Radiographer at Gleneagles Hospital, both began their healthcare journeys with IHH's support. The support included sponsoring their studies, and providing them the platform to network and learn from like-minded professionals. Both Val and Fathimah have blossomed into exemplary healthcare practitioners under IHH's support.
Their journeys illustrate one of the many options in this ever-growing sector – the IHH path to personal and career success.
From Public to Private
Upon graduating from Secondary school in 2017, Val worked for a few months as a clinic assistant at a government hospital. She enjoyed her work in the hospital and with the encouragement of family and friends, she decided to pursue a career in nursing.
Despite having started out in a government hospital, she opted to join IHH SG, believing that private healthcare will broaden her professional experience.
After some research, she concluded that the Parkway Nursing Sponsorship would fit her needs perfectly. "It was a welcome discovery as this was my second diploma and I did not have sufficient finances to pursue this programme without a sponsorship." she recalled with a smile.
In 2018, she was awarded the sponsorship and started to pursue for her 3-year Diploma in Nursing. Here, she felt she had a truly holistic learning experience - talks with external lecturers from various nursing fields, making connections with prospective students and a coveted opportunity to join an international event organised by Singapore Nursing Board (SNB).
An Ideal Foundation for Diagnostic Radiography
Fathimah knew exactly what she wanted right at the start of her career - Radiography.
"After completing my A levels, I was determined to enrol into a Science-related degree course to pursue my career in healthcare. Back in school, I already had great interest in Science-related subjects. At the same time, I find joy in helping people and improving their lives. As I was browsing these courses online I was fascinated by how radiographers work with various imaging scanners and machines in order to view the insides of a human body to aid in diagnosis and treatment of patients. This totally piqued my interest in radiography since I know that I would be able to change someone's life for the better," she shared, with a sparkle in her eye.
A close friend recommended the Parkway Allied Health Sponsorship. "Without hesitation, I submitted my application," she continued. "IHH SG is known for providing best-in-class patient care, and it is known to be Asia's largest private healthcare group and a leading global healthcare operator."
This meant a highly coveted chance to start her Diagnostic Radiography career in one of IHH SG's four private hospitals in Singapore. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of her professional life.
"Seven years on, I am still happily settled in Gleneagles Hospital Singapore."
Advancing Professionally and Personally
There is never a dull day in Fathimah's work, as she wears many hats as she gains seniority in her role at Gleneagles. As a radiographer, she operates X-ray equipments and scanning machines to produce high-quality diagnostic images that aid patient diagnosis. As a clinical educator and an Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) supervisor, she supervises students and junior radiographers in performing X-rays and various modalities like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Mammography.
Her years of experience have yielded a plethora of awards such as the Service Excellence Award (for four consecutive years!), Best Radiographer in 2018, and Best Staff of the Month in 2020 and 2021.
However, she credits IHH SG in providing her a supportive working culture to nurture her into the consummate healthcare professional that she is today.
"IHH SG has a healthy work culture where one feels valued, safe, comfortable, and given opportunities for growth," Fathimah recounted. "When I was facing challenges at work, my supervisors and manager will hear me out and readily help me resolve issues."
Working Together as a Family
Likewise, Val experiences a sense of comradeship at Parkway East Hospital. She joined the team of Staff Nurses on short notice to tackle Covid-19-related manpower challenges, but was welcomed by her teammates right from the very first day at IHH SG.
"Parkway East Hospital has a cosy family-like environment where everyone knows everyone so it is nice and encouraging to see familiar faces around."
Another key source of motivation are her patients. As a nurse, Val provides holistic care ranging from engaging and updating next-of-kin, tending to patient needs, and coordinating diagnostic procedures to optimise the recovery process.
"The work can be tiring, but when I receive positive and encouraging feedback from the patients after they are discharged, it makes me feel fulfilled and satisfied that I've done a great job."
Be a Part of the Singapore's Healthcare sector where there is critical labour demand
While they recognise a career in healthcare is exciting and rewarding, both professionals expressed concern about the lack of talent in their respective fields.
"Radiographers are in high demand in Singapore," said Fathimah. "Diagnostic radiography provides excellent career prospects with the opportunity for continuous career development."
On a similar note, Val highlighted how nursing is no longer just providing bedside care, but a profession with multiple possible specialisations.
"With different career tracks, there is a wide range of career pathways for anyone out there who wants to be a nurse," she said.
And where better to find that rewarding career, than at IHH?
Fathimah summarised: "IHH is one of the world's largest healthcare networks. Employees can be assured they will be well taken care of with meaningful and rewarding benefits."
Val concurred, citing herself as an example: "Joining IHH SG has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Being part of this family since graduation, I can attest to the various opportunities to grow and hone my skills as a nurse with the help of my colleagues and IHH SG family."