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: Telemedicine firm Doctor Anywhere to hire 200 new staff in S'pore by end-2022

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SINGAPORE - Telemedicine provider Doctor Anywhere aims to hire an additional 200 staff here by the end of the year, effectively doubling its local headcount.

The roles range from technical positions such as engineers and product managers to medical services team members such as doctors, nurses and clinic assistants. They also include operational roles.

The firm added on Wednesday (Jan 19) that it is also looking to hire more fresh graduates to build a pipeline of young local talent.

Doctor Anywhere, which raised $88 million in Series C funding in August last year, has about 450 workers across Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, with expansion in Indonesia to come.

It also expects to increase this total regional headcount by 50 per cent in the coming months.

Chief executive and founder Lim Wai Mun said hiring and retaining talent is vital to the firm's growth, despite rising hiring costs.

"The competition for talent has always been there, as the good people that we want to attract are in demand across all start-ups," noted Mr Lim at the official opening of the firm's regional headquarters at mTower in Alexandra Road.

"We definitely will want to make sure that we hire Singaporeans first, but at the same time, also ensure that diversity is something we continue to look for. We have South-east Asian employees on our team now and we are able to leverage their understanding of local cultures to connect with our overseas offices."

This is especially so since countries across the region have big cultural differences. "As we continue to expand, we need to understand them very clearly or there will be a huge disconnect," Mr Lim added.

About 30 per cent to 50 per cent of Doctor Anywhere's staff have returned to the office.

Mr Lim said the firm, which started in 2017 with about 10 to 20 workers, has grown 300 per cent year on year in terms of revenue since 2019, and now serves about 2.5 million users across the region.

Mr Lim added: "When we first started, people were using us for medical certificates.

"But now, people are using us for real medical help. During the pandemic in 2020, we had people from the Philippines seeking help from doctors in Singapore."

Doctor Anywhere has also partnered with the Ministry of Health to help Covid-19 patients recover at home.

This month, the firm launched tele-antigen rapid testing so people do not have to leave home for a supervised test.

Mr Lim added that there is still a lot of room for the firm to grow: "Across the industry, the digital health penetration rate is still very low, about 0.5 to 1 per cent.

"Over the next few years, there will be a lot more work for us to do to go deeper. The payers, like Governments, insurers and patients, have acknowledged that this is the way to go forward, so there will be users jumping on this (telemedicine) bandwagon."

On Wednesday, Doctor Anywhere - in conjunction with the Home Recovery Programme paediatric team - donated $100,000 to Caring SG, a caregiver-led initiative for special needs caregivers.

Mr Lim continues to plan for the future: "We can use technology to understand users more, to provide them with things specific to their needs. That's our focus for the next 12 to 24 months."

Ms Audrey Lok, Enterprise Singapore's director of healthcare and biomedical, said the firm's success highlights the opportunities in the sector: "Digital health companies are actively recruiting not just for healthcare and technology roles, but also for commercialisation, business development and regional roles.

"With our inherent strength as a Smart Nation and top medical hub, we can expect to see more growth opportunities in this space."

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.