Highlights from the Honorary Secretary

Benny Loo Kai Guo

Parliament motion on supporting healthcare

On 9 May 2023, Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) and SMA 1st Vice President Dr Tan Yia Swam, together with two other NMPs, Mr Abdul Samad and Dr Shahira Abdullah, introduced a motion in Parliament titled "Supporting Healthcare", stating "[t]hat this House commits to supporting healthcare beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and the whole-of-Government efforts for consistent and sustainable support." The motion was agreed to without amendments.

Members can view Dr Tan's speeches at the following links:

SMA's response to Straits Times Forum letter on rising healthcare costs

On 5 May 2023, SMA published a response to a letter in the Straits Times Forum about cancer care costs. The SMA Council is of the opinion that the writer of the letter had simplified the issue of rising healthcare costs and insurance premiums by an unsubstantiated isolation of their causes to doctors' fees.

There are many factors that determine the fee charged by a doctor. It is unsubstantiated to attribute insurance premium increases to doctors' fees when other factors that contribute to rising healthcare costs remain unchecked. These include the cost of drugs, hospital facility fees and the distribution costs of insurance plans.

SMA's letter in the Straits Times Forum may be accessed via the following link: https://bit.ly/3q92mT3.

Acquiring medical ethics core CME points

Doctors will need to obtain five medical ethics core continuing medical education (CME) points under the Singapore Medical Council's (SMC) mandatory medical ethics programme in order to renew their practising certificates by December 2025. Doctors will be able to start accumulating these medical ethics core CME points from January 2024 onwards.

SMA wishes to inform all Members that:

  1. By January 2024 or soon thereafter, a list of modules conducted by SMA that qualify for such medical ethics core CME points will be posted on the SMA website (https://www.sma.org.sg). We expect there to be ample options to satisfy all doctors' differing interests.
  2. Some of these options will be online self-learning modules. Upon successful completion of each module, one medical ethics core CME point will be awarded. These online self-learning modules will be open to all SMA Members in good standing, with no additional fees charged. There will be adequate modules to ensure the acquisition of five medical ethics core CME points.

This preliminary announcement is meant to assure all SMA Members that you will be able to earn the necessary CME points in a convenient and timely way, already paid for by your annual subscription. The SMA is working hard to ensure that you will be able to meet this requirement without hassle. More details will be made available later.

For SMC's circular on the medical ethics CME points, please visit https://bit.ly/3OVTNVS.

Benny Loo Kai Guo is a paediatrician in public service with special interest in sport and exercise medicine. He serves to see the smiles on every child and athlete, and he looks forward to the company of his wife and children at the end of every day.