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SMA Editorial Board 

Letters to the Editor 

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1. Points on Review of Constitution
    The SMA council has decided to discuss principles relating to the SMA constitution   
    periodically this year, and to bring relevant points to the attention of members for 
    feedback throughout the year.
          The subject of manner of election of office bearers was discussed. The council would
    like to recommend the following, pending consideration when constitutional amendments 
    are proposed in the next AGM, should they be considered necessary:

a. There are at present, 16 elected council members each holding 2 year term. Half of the 
    council’s seats lapse each year and are up for election. The council felt that to ensure 
    greater representation in the council, up to 4 additional councillors can be permitted to be
    co-opted by the elected council for the term of that council. These 4 councillors would 
    not have the right to vote in council meetings. The councillors could be appointed as    
    individuals or appointed by medical bodies so invited by the SMA council to be 

b. Presently not only are councillors elected in the AGM, the key posts, ie. President, 1st 
    and 2nd Vice Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer are all proposed and elected from the 
    floor at each AGM. The council felt that a better system may be that the AGM elects 
    only the President and Council Members. Within 4 weeks, at the first Council Meeting, 
    the other office bearers would then be elected by the Council Members from among the 
    elected council members and the general membership would be informed via a circular.

2. MAAU Clarification on Medical Advertising Guidelines
    The SMA has written to the Medical Audit and Accreditation Unit to seek clarification on
    the application of certain clauses of the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinic Act - 
    Advertising Guidelines. The replies from Dr Ho May Ling, Director, MAAU are 
    reproduced for your information.

Clause 1.8 Healthcare establishments are allowed to insert in any of the approved media     
    referred to in paragraph 1.10 information pertaining to their commencement of operation, 
    or any change of address. The advertisements permitted under paragraph 2.1, 2.2, 3.1,  
    3.2, 3.3 and 4 may not be issued or published more than once every 6 months except 
    with the prior written approval of the Director of Medical services.

Application: “We would like to bring to your attention the fact that the listing of branches of 
    the group practice when announcing the opening of a new clinic is acceptable practice.” 
    2/9/97, Ref: MAAU 02-02/0-2 Vol 6

Clause 1.16 Healthcare establishments may post advertisements on the Internet provided 
    the advertisements only contain the information permitted under paragraphs 2.1, 2.2, 3.1,
    3.3 and 4.

Clause 1.17 The Internet shall not be used to correspond or provide professional 
    information, consultation or advice to any member of the public in such a manner as to 
    amount to soliciting or encouraging the use of services provided by or at any healthcare 

Application:  “Listing of healthcare establishments on the internet must comply with the following:

    1. The amended Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Advertising Guidelines issued 
        in 9 May 97.
    2. Doctors cannot advertise themselves independent of their licensed premises.
    3. The directory must contain an entire listing of all licensed healthcare establishments 
        as published by the Ministry of Health in the Government Gazette.
        27/8/97 Ref: MAAU 02-02/02-2 Vol 6
        To date, the MAAU has, to our knowledge given approval to MediMedia and  
        Cyberbitz to list health care establishments on the internet.
3. Colonic Hydrotherapy
    The SMA received some queries from members with regards the promotion of colonics 
    machine distributed by Medex Pte Ltd. The SMA has sought clarification from MAAU 
    on colonics hydrotherapy and the reply from Dr Jeffrey Cutter, Acting Director of 
    MAAU is reproduced for your information.
         “The Ministry of Health’s stand is to discourage the practice of colonic hydrotherapy. 
    The Ministry will also not approve any future applications for medical clinic licence to 
    provide colonic hydrotherapy. The information provided by Medex Pte Ltd that “MOH   
    approves of colonics” is not true. We will take up the issue with Medex Pte Ltd.” 
    Ref: MAAU (DF) 1-08, 11 September 1997