Letters to the Editor
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News from Council
I. Clinics Advertisements in 1998 Yellow Pages
When the 1998 Yellow Pages was published in July this year, the SMA Ethics Committee was of the opinion that certain advertisements may have infringed the Advertising Guidelines of the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act (PHMC). The advertisements concerned were referred to the Medical Audit and Accreditation Unit for further action.
We would like to draw to your attention, that only healthcare establishments, and not doctors are allowed to advertise in the Yellow Pages. Doctors particulars are only allowed in the advertisement in context of information allowed by the Act (para 3.1 to 3.3) for the clinics.
The SMA has been appointed by MAAU to provide advisory of the PHMC Advertising Guidelines. This was published in the July 97 issue of the SMA News. SMA members may request for a copy of the advisory (Tel: 223-1264).
We wish to inform you the following pertaining to clinics advertisements in the Yellow Pages:
II. Fees for Practising Certificate
When the Medical Registration Act 1997 came into effect on 3 April 1998, the SMC announced that it would issue practising certificates to all registered medical practitioners at a fee of $200 per year. In view of the current economic situation, the SMA appealed in a letter dated 24 July 1998 to the SMC to maintain the fee at $100, which was equivalent to the annual retention fee that was charged under the previous Act. It also urged the Ministry of Health not to increase the fee of other statutory lincenses for equipment and healthcare establishments.
Dr Chen Ai Ju, Registrar of SMC replied on 13 August 1998 as follows:
"I regret to inform you that we are unable to reduce the fee payable for the practising certificate. This is because the Council has incurred rising expenditure over the years due to the increasing number and complexities of applications received for registration. There are also more cases of complaints and enquiries from the public and from the profession. With the expanded functions under the new Medical Registration Act, which has come into operation this year, the Councils statutory responsibilities and workload have increased even further. Please be assured that the Council is mindful of the need to be as cost efficient as possible and only increase fees if really necessary.
I have referred your request not to increase the fee of other statutory licenses for equipment and healthcare establishments to the Ministry of Health for their consideration."
III. Guidelines on FeesThe following recommendations have been approved by the SMA Council and made effective immediately. The fees for medical reports:
A. Short Consultation Fees for GPs After Usual Clinic Hours
This service is NOT chargeable if the form is presented on the same clinic visit or consultation. A fee is only chargeable if the form is presented by the patient on a day other than the clinic visit, as it involves administrative work and time. If a fee is chargeable, the recommendation is up to $10.
IV. Inter-Professional Games (IPG) Results
The 15th series of the IPG were played among members of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore, Institute of Engineers, Law Society of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Architects, Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers and the SMA.
The SMA emerged as champions in Billiards and Chess, and runners-up in Badminton and bowling. The Law Society of Singapore is the overall champion of this years IPG, followed by ICPAS and SMA. We would like to record our appreciation to the Chairman of Sports & Games Committee, Dr Tan Yew Ghee and the convenors of the various games:
V. Inter-Professional Presidents Group (IPPG) Meeting
The IPPG, which was formed in 1997, met at the Law Society premise on 11 September 1998 to discuss the joint activities for next year. The SMA was represented by the President and A/Prof Goh Lee Gan, the 1st Vice President. The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore will organise the 1999 IPG while the Institute of Engineers of Singapore will organise the 2nd IPPG Seminar on Saturday, 30 January 1999. The theme of this Seminar will be on "Professional Conduct and Indemnity". Some of the topics to be discussed will include: