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Health Minister calls on overlooked public healthcare workers for COVID-19 Resilience Medal to engage with MOH

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung revealed that 91% of Singapore’s public healthcare workers received the COVID-19 Resilience Medal.

Acknowledging potential oversights by employers in nominations, Minister Ong in a recent written PQs response, invited deserving individuals overlooked for the CRM to contact MOH.

Last December, an open letter circulated online raised concerns among frontliners feeling excluded from national recognition.



SINGAPORE: Health Minister Ong Ye Kung disclosed that 91% of the 68,600 workers employed in Singapore’s public healthcare institutions were awarded the COVID-19 Resilience Medal.

This revelation came during his response to Parliamentary inquiries on Tuesday (9 Jan).

In his written reply, Minister Ong explained that the remaining workers were not conferred the CRM primarily because their contributions toward managing the COVID-19 pandemic were not assessed as substantial or sustained within the specified period.

Additionally, a very small number were disqualified due to their disciplinary records, he added.

This information was provided in response to a Parliamentary question filed by Associate Professor Jamus Lim, Member of Parliament (MP) from the Workers’ Party, regarding the potential for an appeals process for those who missed out on the CRM.

Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Leong Mun Wai, Mr Yip Hon Weng (PAP-Yio Chu Kang), and Dr Tan Wu Meng (PAP-Jurong) also raised related questions seeking clarification on the total number of recipients, whether outsourced workers were included in the awards, and the specific reasons leading to the exclusion of certain workers from receiving the medal.

Minister Ong offers redress for workers overlooked in COVID-19 Medal nominations

In response, Minister Ong acknowledged that despite the rigorous process and inclusive approach, it is possible that some employers may have missed out nominating their staff.

He said individuals who feel they are deserving but have been missed out for the CRM can write to MOH.

MOH will subsequently review these appeals in collaboration with their respective employers.

Minister Ong highlighted that overcoming the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic was a collective national endeavour. Therefore, the CRM selection process aimed for inclusivity without setting specific quotas.

To ensure that standards are met and the process is rigorous, the eligibility criteria is that the individual must have made substantial contributions on a sustained basis during the Pandemic in:

  1. Managing the public health crisis at the frontlines;
  2. Supporting frontline operations, such as vaccination, testing, managing dorms or recovery facilities, etc; or
  3. Managing the consequences of COVID-19 on Singapore’s economy, supply chains or social cohesion.

“The individuals are nominated by their employing organisations based on these criteria.”

“As the CRM is a national-level award, individuals with criminal records and public service officers with disciplinary records and within the debarment periods are also disqualified, “said the Minister.

The nomination process also includes outsourced workers such as cleaners, porters, and patient care assistants. Approximately 2,000 individuals in these roles within public healthcare institutions received the CRM.

The roster of CRM awardees was made public in the Government Gazette on the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) website on 31 May 2023.

Following that publication, from 31 May to the end of August 2023, MOH received and evaluated numerous appeals from the healthcare sector for CRM.

As a result, additional deserving awardees were added to the list during this period.

Controversy surrounds Singapore’s CRM distribution

In December 2022, the PMO declared that over 100,000 individuals would be honoured for their contributions in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last December, an Instagram account @thehonesthealthcareworker posted an open letter addressing Minister Ong and 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 20 December that not everyone who played a role in Singapore’s fight against the pandemic received a CRM.

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 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.

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These people who are jealous of not getting a medal are just a bunch of oppie losers. True volunteers who helped out in Covid don’t need medals. They help with their heart. Obviously, these idiots who want recognition are just some cheapo oppies.

Smart Nation must have all data in the system. Should not have a need for all who contributed during COVID to be identified by various entities.

If I am a health care professional and have been missed out, I WILL NOT step up and ask to be included. I rather they sell the medals on Carousell, make some money then reduce the property tax for citizens.

Remember 77 pap ministers/mps voted that Nursing was a “low cost” profession when they voted for the Population white paper, including this OYK. 77 sets of blind (or bo-chap) eyes or that is how they really view our healthcare workers?

If anyone can piss, the already pissed off further, … this Minister does it with relative ease and assuredness. To cite a figure of 91%, … certainly takes some cojones and if that wasn’t enough, to state that those not recognised, … on account of their contributions assessed as not substantial or sustained within the specified Covid period !!! Such statements must’ve been drafted by a cold fish, fact checked by Pinocchio, given the once over by someone blind, … and signed off by the dick who presented it himself !!! For f**k’s sake, whose gonna make themselves known now,… Read more »

Let us just say, OYK is throwing an impossible challenge to those whom he’s addressing to take up, in a nice protocol way.

This is a kindergarten lesson 101 – if so, OYK should at the end of the day published results who went fwd.

With their army of servants – OYK don’t want to work them, choose the lazy way to adds a public outcry problem.

Didn’t they claimed Govt Civil servants were rewarded with X dollars of bonuses as was claimed they worked hard?

Many Singapore men are also forgotten soldiers in Singapore.
When young, we served our country.
When old, forgotten by pap.

Honestly, SG is not a very big place, and also these ministers are being paid the HIGHEST salary in the world. What’s more, each million$ minister typically has another TWO million$ ministers of state to help in running the ministry. So the question should be why OKE can overlook some healthcare workers for their contribution? That immediately shows that he is NOT close to the ground, like his boss. Oh well, they can always blame anything and everything on “Free Riders”, hor? Still talk big that they have the people’s Trust, can win back the Oppies GRCs. Yeah, sure maybe… Read more »

Skillful in playing ping pong ball – and now the cock, er shuttle cock is not in their court side. Since no referee or referee kai yu, the loosers are forgone.

Yeowh quee meh?
Overlook, then give all sorts of excuses.
And call on people to come to you?

Is there a mistake somewhere – the world knows very well in SG everything works. Or no longer, as it was, all hubris and media propaganda for decades.

Super Scale Salary But Not looking at Root causes. Do One episode of Reality Supermarket consumption of Plastic and deem it has rooted out plastic woes. Ppl are buying plastic bags to contain their biohazard so what Loong term solution are you looking at???

Will there be another round .

Why Gutzy never repeat article about plastic bag under Grace Fu: 😮 Plastic bag use at supermarkets down by 50%-80% since charge implemented in Jul. 2023 Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said the plastic bag charge has “generally been well-received”. MP Grace Fu did not show the Full picture, which is the number of plastic bags bought by ppl as a result of sanction on customers rights to bag their grocery becos ppl resume their plastic bag to bag trash. So if root reason not dealth with. There won’t be changes to the need of plastic bag.… Read more »