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Pros and Cons of Working Over the Holidays for Locum GPs

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 21, 2017 12:33:51 PM / by Friends of CaregiverAsia

This article is written by April Han. She is a multi-passionate entrepreneur. With a formal education in Business Administration and years of working with healthcare startups under her belt, she is able to provide valuable advice to aspiring locums in terms of creativity, innovation, and discovery of solutions to the challenges amid our society’s growing demand for health services. A life-long learner with a growth mindset, she is currently expanding her knowledge of the healthcare marketplace through online courses and hands-on training from world-class mentors.

The holiday season is always festive in Singapore. And just like everyone, doctors and healthcare workers would prefer joining in the festivities with their families rather than working until the wee hours of the morning. For this reason, the demand for locum GPs skyrockets during the holidays.

The question now is this: Is it a good idea for a locum GP to work over the holidays? To answer this question, you need to know the pros and cons of working over the holidays. Comparing the boon from the bane may help you decide between accepting and declining a contract this holiday season. So here are the pros and cons of working over the holidays for locum GPs.

Pros and Cons of Working Over the Holidays for Locum GPs

The Pros

Better Pay

Let’s get the most obvious and probably the most important factor out of the way. Holiday shifts, as many of us know, offer better pay. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower explicitly says that you should be paid an extra day’s salary if you work on a public holiday. Although policies and contracts may vary, it’s highly possible that you’ll receive double-time pay for holiday work. Practices often offer attractive incentives and compensation to those who work on Christmas day because it’s in their best interest to encourage doctors to be present during the holiday.

You Get More Recognition

When you show a willingness to take over when it’s obvious that no one else was going to work, you’ll be making quite an impression on employers. Remember that one of the best ways to find work as a locum GP is to build strong relationships with colleagues, clients, and agencies. If you volunteer to cover for one of your colleagues so they can spend the holidays with their family, you’ll be on their good side. As for clients and agencies, they’ll be impressed at your professionalism knowing that you’re always ready to go that extra mile even during the holidays.

Making a Difference

Being able to help others is not just an act of kindness. It’s not only good for those people you extend help to, it also makes you happier and healthier, according to a study by psychologist Michael Steger and his colleagues. Working over the holidays as a locum GP allows you to help fellow doctors by relieving them from work.

Did you know that 48% of patients admitted to hospital on holidays are more likely to die? Usually, over the holidays, patients don’t have a lot of options on where to go. Often, they really don’t want to be in the hospital. They’d postpone the visit even when they’re already feeling ill just to be with their family during Christmas. The patients you’ll meet during Christmas are those who absolutely need immediate help. So, apart from helping fellow doctors, you also help patients and their families during a time when most GPs aren’t available.

Wondered about becoming a locum doctor? Continuing your career as a locum offers flexibility, freedom, and control over your work-life balance. Click below to register as a locum GP or call us at 6258 6683 for any enquiries.

Register with us as a Locum Doctor

The Cons

Not Being Able to Celebrate with the Family
Across the country this year just like any other year, families in Singapore will be celebrating the holidays. If you decide to take on a job this holiday season, you’ll miss out on the festivities. That’s the only drawback we can think of when you work over the holidays as a locum GP.

You’ll probably feel bad not being able to give in to your daughter’s wish of relaxing on the couch and watching Elf while munching on some cookies. It might feel like you’re rejecting the spirit of the holiday season. You might even feel that you’re hindering your family from fully experiencing the joys of Christmas or New Year.


One of the many advantages of working as a locum doctor is a better work-life balance. You can schedule your activities as you see fit. To work over the holidays isn’t that bad, it’s actually very rewarding. If you have solid communication with your family, being away for work during the time when everybody’s partying won’t be a huge issue. Because who said you can only party on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? You can schedule family bonding time before or after you go and see patients who badly need your help.

The holiday season is about giving. And choosing to work on a holiday can be a great gift to others especially in a profession like yours. Remember, accidents and illnesses don’t take holidays off.

Related articles that might interest you:

How to Survive as a New Locum GP

6 Signs You Are Ready To Be a Locum GP

Top Recommended Online Courses for GPs

4 Advantages of Working as a Locum Doctor

What Makes a Good Locum Doctor? 6 Must-Have Qualities

Understanding Tort of Negligence as a Medical Professional Freelancer

Freelancing and Illness: What Can You Do?

5 Complaint Resolution Best Practices for Medical Freelancers

Your Do's and Don'ts Checklist to Get Started as a Freelancer

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Friends of CaregiverAsia

Written by Friends of CaregiverAsia

Friends of CaregiverAsia are accomplished professionals in their fields as well as dedicated caregivers. When not busy making a positive impact on their surroundings, friends of CGA gratify others with their insightful and heartwarming stories.

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