Good news Friday, paternity leave, female surgeons, rugby

Credit: Getty Images
This week, we’re celebrating Singapore’s paternity leave, the first all-female team to complete a heart transplant, rugby union’s maternity leave policy

Paid paternity leave

From January 1 2024, Singapore will double paid paternity leave for working fathers, from two weeks to four weeks.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong shared that the extra two weeks will be given on a voluntary basis for a start. 

The Government will reimburse employers who are ready to grant the additional leave. 

“This is also to give more time for employers to adjust, especially taking into account the existing economic conditions and manpower and operational challenges that many employers face,” says Minister Lawrence. “We will review this over time and we intend to make this mandatory in due course.”

All-female team

Eight surgeons from the UCSF Parnassus are believed to have performed the first heart transplant led by an all-female team. 

The surgeons included anesthesiologist Dr. Charlene Blake, cardiac surgeon Dr. Amy Fiedler, and perfusionist Ashley Risso, with patient Fatou Gaye.

Although statistics are only kept on patients, not attending staff, it’s not possible to say for certain whether this was the first all-woman team. However, the United Network for Organ Sharing, stated that this is likely to be the first case.  

Transplant cardiologist Dr. Dana Weisshaar also shares that there are no specific figures on female doctors who perform heart transplants, but there are only 21 that she is aware of in the US.

“We were all done and just chatting and I said ‘Hey, this is pretty crazy, we’re all women on the team,’” Dr. Amy Fiedler told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’ve never been part of anything like this before.”

“Normalising motherhood”

England women's rugby players are entitled to 26 weeks of fully-paid maternity leave to “normalise motherhood”.

Pregnant players will be supported to start other employment within rugby, while being encouraged back into the sport after giving birth.

Vickii Cornborough, Rugby Players' Association representative and England prop, says: “As the Red Roses, we do a lot of our talking on the pitch, then we lead by example when we’re on the pitch. But it’s good to see that the RFU is able to support us off the pitch just as well. This will really be a game-changer in the game. We’ve been working on this for quite some time now.”


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