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Controversy surrounds Singapore’s COVID-19 Resilience Medal distribution, sparking debates on eligibility and recognition

More controversy over Singapore’s COVID-19 Resilience Medal unfold as healthcare workers express concerns about eligibility and recognition.

Discussions on social media platforms and Reddit highlight varying opinions, with calls for transparency and inclusive acknowledgment in the distribution process.

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SINGAPORE: On 17 December, the @thehonesthealthcareworker Instagram account posted an open letter addressing Minister Ong Ye Kung and the Ministry of Health (MOH), highlighting the concerns of frontliners who feel overlooked in the national award recognition process.

These dedicated workers, who tirelessly contributed throughout the pandemic, expressed their sense of being unrecognized by the country in the distribution of national awards.

The open letter also called upon the MOH to provide clarity on the nomination process for the awards.

This request was prompted by reports of individuals selling their COVID-19 award medals on Carousell.

In response to the health workers’ open letter, the Ministry of Health acknowledged on Wednesday (20 Dec) that not everyone who played a role in Singapore’s fight against the pandemic received a COVID-19 Resilience Medal.

The MOH emphasized its commitment to inclusivity while maintaining rigorous standards in the award nomination process, as reported by TODAY.

Over 110,000 individuals have been awarded COVID-19 Resilience Medals for their significant contributions to Singapore’s battle against the pandemic.

The medals were distributed during a carnival event at the F1 Pit Building from December 10 to 14.

The MOH, in its efforts to be as inclusive as possible, clarified that there were no quotas set on the number of people receiving the award.

In contrast to the MOH’s position, @thehonesthealthcareworker shared the case of Dr Sanjeev Shanker on Thursday (21 Dec), an Emergency Medicine Specialist actively involved in Singapore’s pandemic response.

In an email shared by the Instagram account, Dr Sanjeev questioned his ineligibility for the COVID Resilience Medal despite significant contributions since the start of the pandemic, with the page highlighting the omission and noting his prominent role in COVID-19 vaccine promotion by the Singapore government.

They clarified that their intention was not to seek fame or attention for healthcare workers but to emphasize the need for equal treatment and rightful recognition of those who genuinely served on the frontlines.

The page urged the Ministry to create a channel for overlooked individuals to come forward and be rightfully recognized for their sacrifice and service.

Community discussion sparks questions on COVID-19 Resilience Medal criteria

An open discussion unfolded in the comments section of @thehonesthealthcareworker’s post, where a user named hattaong attempted to provide a rationale for Dr Sanjeev Shanker not receiving the awards.

Speculating that Dr Sanjeev might have left the public healthcare service before the inception and execution of the medal idea, hattaong suggested that, based on appearances, only those still within the public healthcare system were recipients of the medal, while those who had departed received neither the medal nor official recognition.

He also highlighted that this could be the reason behind stories circulating about staff who may have never set foot in the COVID ward but still received a medal, possibly due to their affiliation with the public healthcare system.

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Another user responded, expressing agreement with hattaong’s hypothesis, citing personal experience of leaving the public healthcare system at the end of September 2022 and subsequently being excluded from the nomination process that began in October 2022.

However, a different user contradicted this view, asserting that it is not limited to the public sector; individuals in the private sector also received the medal.

Expressing outrage at Dr Sanjeev’s exclusion despite his sacrifices, she emphasized that oversight in such cases is unacceptable.

The discussion continued with another user pointing out that there were instances of individuals who had left the healthcare sector but still received the medal.

They cautioned against generalizing without concrete evidence and shared that they knew peers who had left and received the award under their former institutions.

A healthcare worker actively involved in the discussion disclosed that she was one of the forgotten individuals still working in healthcare within the same hospital.

Amidst ongoing discussions, questions have arisen regarding the clarity of the criteria for COVID-19 Resilience Awards, prompting speculation within the community.

As reported by TODAY, The Ministry of Health (MOH) has provided some insight into the eligibility requirements, stating that individuals deserving of the award must have, on a sustained basis throughout the pandemic, played a role in managing the public health crisis on the frontlines, supported frontline operations, or addressed the consequences of COVID-19 on various facets of Singapore’s society, including the economy, supply chains, or social cohesion.

Reddit users express discontent over Ministry of Health’s medal distribution amid calls for inclusive recognition in the healthcare sector

On Reddit, discussions regarding the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) statement garnered various comments from users.

One redditor expressed the view that MOH should have awarded medals to everyone in the healthcare industry who worked during the Covid period, including non-frontliners who also faced challenges.

The user criticized MOH, stating, “MOH recognizes that it’s a whole-of-society effort but can’t spare some medals for most of it – what a joke.”

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Another redditor drew attention to a specific statement from MOH, quoting, “..MOH acknowledged on Wednesday (Dec 20) that not everyone who contributed to Singapore’s fight against infectious diseases were awarded the medal, ‘that is why we always emphasize that awards to leaders and organizations are always received for everyone who worked in the teams.'”

This user likened the situation to soldiers going to war and the general receiving a medal while those on the frontlines face the consequences.

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In a more critical tone, one redditor argued for medals specifically for nurses and doctors who worked in the wards, rather than for leaders overseeing them.

The user went further, stating that the individuals responsible for deciding who receives medals should be fired.

They emphasized the paradox of relying on healthcare workers during crises and then neglecting them once the challenging work is completed.

The redditor concluded with a pointed remark about how this approach fails to show genuine appreciation for the efforts of nurses and doctors, stating, “Nice way to show them how much Singapore really appreciates their efforts.”

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These comments on Reddit reflect a range of opinions and sentiments regarding the perceived shortcomings in the recognition and distribution of medals within the healthcare sector.

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Fraud policians really go into extremes to sell fakes to Sheegaporeans.

One MUST be the most stupid and insane sheep to buy into the story from officials version of medals accordance

LOCAL PEASANTS bickering over a piece of no value medal with ZERO SCRAP VALUE!
This is what low ses folks are fighting and quarelling over , while the ministers, cronies and their relatives are walking away with millions, laughing all the way to the BAMKS!😆😆😆😆😆😆

Give out recognition and medals also can fuxk-up. What does that say of our million$ leaders? If it happens with $200-400K leaders it is considered serious incompetency, then with million$ leaders it is really a fuxking joke.

Medal .. got stars
No medal .. no stars
And the separation is complete
By those who loves to play gods …

What utter crap, to cite “whole of society effort”, … whence all the effort, endeavours and endangering their very own lives stemmed entirely and directly, … from the frontliners and nobody else.

Each and every one of ‘em should be named, recognised, appreciated and honoured, … period !!!

This regime has truly and wholly f**ked this one up, … big time !!!

Look at OYK face when he said they will be reviewing the situation – typical “Paid-million$-to-fuxkup- on-implementation-No-blaming-culture-Will-learn-from-it-Let’s-move-on-Still-being-paid-million$”

Such caliber still considered as PM material by the Dishonorable One, hor.

Sin’s offerings. You lay your hands on the head of an unblemished goat as perfect agreement and specimen to Sin’s honourable services. Your blood is then sprinkled on every Sin’s instruments in the glory and exaltation of Sin.

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Every person who worked in the frontline risking their lives every minute, as they worked, should be recognised and awards given. It should not make a difference if they have resigned after the pandemic. Smart Nation, it should be in the system. You don’t need a commitee set up to evaluate who gets the recognition. The civil servants in MOH, should be able to retrieve the details of all employees. It should be the same with all other Ministries. Are we really a Smart Nation or were we scammed by the programmers? What was the cost? About 4billion? Minister in… Read more »

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