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07 Nov 2022

29th Aug 2021

     From 1 November 2021, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will revise the uniform policy in the public healthcare sector to allow female Muslim staff, including female Muslim nurses, to wear the tudung as an add-on to their uniforms, if they wish to do so.

2.   The revised policy will be applicable to more than 7,000 female Muslim uniformed staff across the public healthcare sector, comprising the public healthcare clusters – SingHealth, National Healthcare Group and National University Health System – as well as the Health Promotion Board, Health Sciences Authority, Vanguard Healthcare and Ministry of Health Holdings.

3.   The tudung will be an add-on to the uniform. This will be permitted in the revised dress code which the institutions will be issuing.

4.   The dress code will be based on a set of implementation and clinical guidelines developed by the MOH-appointed Implementation Steering Committee (ISC) and Clinical Advisory Panel (CAP). The committees comprise representatives across the public, community care and private healthcare sectors, the Healthcare Services Employees’ Union (HSEU), the Muslim Healthcare Professional Association (MHPA), and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis). In preparing the guidelines, the committees conducted extensive consultation from April to August this year, with infectious disease experts, HSEU/AUSBE[1], nursing leaders, Muslim community leaders and healthcare workers across various professions and religious backgrounds.

5.   Through the extensive consultation, the guidelines have taken careful and serious consideration of the desire of female Muslim healthcare workers to wear the tudung, whilst safeguarding and upholding impartiality of care, occupational safety and health of staff, patient care standards and infection control requirements, such as when a personal tudung or long sleeves may and may not be worn.

6.   Dr Benjamin Koh, MOH’s Deputy Secretary (Development) and Chairman of the ISC said, “We have extensively engaged healthcare workers across different races and religions on their views and consulted clinical experts in drawing up the guidelines, taking into account the current practices for the wearing of tudung in healthcare settings in other countries. I have confidence in the continued professionalism of all healthcare workers to uphold their duty of care, and to ensure that infection control standards continue to remain high.”page1image8783360

7.     Non-public entities such as community care organisations and private healthcare providers are encouraged to take reference from the revised uniform policy in the public healthcare sector and consider their organisational context before making a decision. Institutions that decide to allow staff to wear the tudung should align with the clinical guidelines as part of infection prevention and occupational safety best practices.

29 AUGUST 2021

1Amalgamated Union of Statutory Board Employees