Information on this page may change with new directives and advisories. This page was last updated on 7 April 2020.


SALTS is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working closely with the Ministry of Health and other professional associations here to provide support for speech and language therapists and students. We have put together our position on common concerns and some resources that you can look to in this time.

If you have concerns that are not addressed below, please contact us at enquiry@salts.org.sg or through the form at the bottom of this page.


Speech and Language Therapists


Can I continue my speech therapy service under the new circuit breaker measures?

Referring to the guidance by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry recommends that “where possible, services that are suitable for tele-consultation should be delivered remotely”. “Outpatient rehab/therapy services and other allied health services such as dietetics, counselling, social work, psychologist, podiatry, etc.” have been classified under non-essential services under Annex A.

Home therapy and community rehabilitation are to “cease all face-to-face consultations”. Centre-based community care services are also to discontinue in this period, unless informed by the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC) to continue. 

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I am considering moving to telepractice, where can I find guidelines for practice in Singapore?

As with any adoption of new service delivery methods, we strongly encourage careful consideration of client suitability and safety, personal data confidentially and protection, and accurate documentation should you wish to commence telepractice.

If you work with a parent institution, such as a hospital or social service agency, we strongly recommend that you discuss your telepractice plans with them, and practice only under the guidance and governance of your institution.

SALTS has put together some guidance on telepractice that you may find useful in this time.


Can I appeal to continue with in-person home therapy services during the suspension period?

Essential services are allowed to continue during this period. According to the Ministry of Health, “essential services or procedures refer to those, if not provided or performed, would result in significant or rapid deterioration of the patient’s medical condition and potentially threaten their health and wellbeing”.

Home therapy is to be suspended under the circuit breaker measures. Providers in the private sector may apply to continue with home therapy under specific circumstances. These circumstances are as follows:

  • Client has no caregiver; and
  • Without therapy for a period of at least one month, client’s condition would either likely deteriorate within one month, resulting in hospitalization or client would suffer from permanent loss of function.

To continue, you will need to submit some details through the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) portal. The following information will be necessary in the MTI submission to aid assessment for exemption:

  • Surname and initials of client’s name;
  • Last four digits of the NRIC number;
  • Age;
  • Relevant diagnosis and description of why they would deteriorate within one month, resulting in hospitalization or suffer from permanent loss of function;
  • Number of home therapy provided to client in last one month (if applicable); and
  • Number of therapists expected to be delivering services in the next month

For speech therapists providing community services, you will need to get in touch with AIC in these circumstances. If you are unsure of which AIC officer to approach, please send SALTS an email at enquiry@salts.org.sg or fill in the form at the bottom of this page.


Where can I get the most updated advisories and directives relevant to my practice?

It is important to keep updated on the latest Singapore advisories and directives as they can have a direct impact on your practice. You can find the latest advisories here:

Advisories from the Ministry of Health are also disseminated to registered speech and language therapists through your email registered with the Allied Health Professions Council.

SALTS may send additional information through our members mailing list. However, we recognise that it is important for all speech and language therapists to receive important information in this time, whether they are SALTS members or not. We will continue updating information on this page, and on our social media platforms to ensure that information is accessible for everyone.


I am unsure of how to interpret some of these measures detailed in the government advisories. What can I do?

If you work with a parent institution, such as a hospital or social service agency, we strongly recommend that you discuss interpretation and implementation of government advisories with your institution.

If you do not receive support from a parent institution and are concerned, please contact at enquiry@salts.org.sg or through the form at the bottom of this page. SALTS can and will raise your concerns to relevant authorities for their advice.


I am concerned about personal protective equipment (PPE). Should I follow published guidelines from overseas speech and language therapy or medical associations?

The considerations of different countries and professions in recommending appropriate PPE can vary. We recommend that you interpret these guidelines in the context of Singapore and your own clinical practice.

If you work with a parent institution, such as a hospital or social service agency, we strongly recommend that you discuss interpretation and implementation of these guidelines with your institution.

If you do not receive support from a parent institution and are concerned, please contact at enquiry@salts.org.sg or through the form at the bottom of this page. SALTS can and will raise your concerns to relevant authorities for their advice.

 

 


How can I take care of myself at this time?

It is a challenging time for many of us. Remember to take some time for yourself even as you are looking out for your clients safety and keeping up with the many health and travel advisories. Here are some avenues for support you may find helpful.

See:


Speech Therapy Students


I am a Singapore student studying speech therapy overseas, should I return home?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs encourages Singaporean students studying overseas to return home. Your health and safety is our priority. In view of the evolving global situation and travel restrictions, we encourage your return as soon as you can make provisions to do so.

See: Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Advisory for Singaporean Students Studying Overseas


Should I stay in my host country to continue with my clinical placements?

Many clinical placements have been cancelled. Your university should have made arrangements for you to earn your course credits in another way or to complete your clinical placements in another time.

As university recommendations and personal considerations vary, SALTS does not take a position on continuation of overseas clinical placements. However, if you have questions do raise them and seek clarification from your university.


Are there opportunities to complete my clinical placements in Singapore?

Clinical placements are typically arranged through institutional agreements between universities and placement centres. We suggest that you check with your university’s clinical placement coordinator about the feasibility of completing your placements in Singapore.

At present, most clinical institutions in Singapore are also not accepting student placements.


I’ve decided to stay in my host country for now. Is there anything else I should do?

We recommend that you register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and keep up to date with health and travel directives and advisories from your host country and Singapore. Find out where if your nearest Singapore Overseas Mission is should you need consular services.

In this time, SALTS has set up a Telegram group for speech therapy students, whether you are in Singapore or overseas. This is to keep you updated of any advice specific to speech therapy students.

We are currently not systematically collecting the contact information of speech therapy students. If you do not have access to the Telegram app and wish to still be contact, please email us at enquiry@salts.org.sg or contact us with the form at the bottom of the page.

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*Do note that by submitting your information to the SALTS, you are consenting for SALTS to keep a record of your personal information for the purpose of information dissemination.


How can I take care of myself at this time?

It is a challenging time for many of us. Remember to take some time for yourself even as you are keeping up with changes in your course, and the many health and travel advisories. Here are some avenues for support you may find helpful.

See:


SALTS is here to support our members, as well as all Singapore speech and language therapists and students. If you should have any difficulties or concerns, do reach out to us at enquiry@salts.org.sg or through the form below.