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SMA Editorial Board 

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1. Resolution regarding "Profit Guarantee" that reads as follows was passed at the SMA Council Meeting on 11 March 1998:

"Medical practitioners who are involved directly or indirectly in the provision of medical services associated with profit guarantees, whether imposed upon or voluntarily undertaken by them, are putting themselves at increased risk of unethical behaviour, arising from patients’ interests no longer always being their first consideration."

We have communicated our concerns on this issue to the appropriate organisations.

2. Updates on Guidelines for Advertising of Healthcare Establishments in the Singapore Yellow Pages

3.1.2 (a) The Yellow Pages (guidelines for hospitals and nursing homes only). Box advertisements for hospitals should not be larger than 2 column width x 1 page.

3.1.2 The Yellow Pages (guidelines for hospitals, nursing homes and medical clinics)

a) Bolding is permitted and need not be limited to those with box advertisements.

b) The colours allowed are black, red, yellow and white.

3. Consultation fees for extended hours and 24-hour clinics

The issue of consultation fees for clinics which are open beyond the usual clinic hours was discussed in Council and with doctors who operate such clinics. The following ideas are presented for further feedback. Two ranges of fees were considered necessary for such clinics for outside the usual clinic hours.

After usual clinics hours to midnight $25 - $55

After midnight to before usual clinic hours $50 - $80

Usual clinic hours shall be taken as that stated by the clinic themselves. It was felt that even though some clinics operate on a 24-hour basis, they should still state their usual clinic hours where the usual SMA recommended guideline on consultation fees would apply.

The issue of whether such clinics would then be tempted to define their range of clinic hours very narrowly was discussed. It was felt that the usual consultation fees must apply from 9am to 9pm from Mondays to Fridays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. There was no consensus regarding this matter for Sundays and Public Holidays.

The guideline would be finalised later this year.

4. Important Drug News

1. Safety alert for low-molecular-weight heparins and heparinoids (see page 123 of the Scientific Section)

2. Reclassification of preparations containing phenolphthalein from GSL to POM (see page 126 of the Scientific Section)

5. Change of address of MPS Legal Advisers

Dr Myint Soe
Myint Soe, Mohamed, Yang & Selvaraj
111 North Bridge Road
Peninsula Plaza #24-03
Singapore 179098
Tel 334 3811 Fax 334 3116

6. REMINDER: MC where patient is medically unfit to attend court/judicial proceedings

Doctors are reminded to comply with the Court’s requirements regarding medical certificates issued to patients for the purpose of excusing them from attending Court on medical grounds. These requirements were circulated in the March 1997 SMA Mailbag. We have re-printed them in this month’s mailbag for your reference. Private practitioners should note that non possession of medical certificates in the format of or similar to Form 17A should not be used as an excuse for non compliance with the requirements. The requisite information can be provided in any certificate printed for that purpose or an attacked memorandum as devised in the circular.