Present Issue 
Past Issues 

Present Issue 
Past Issues 

SMA Editorial Board 

Letters to the Editor 



This site is supported by Health ONE


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:

1. Appointments

"Past or present appointments of the doctor in other institutions should not be in the advertisement of the concerned clinic, eg. "Previously Senior Registrar" of a department in a restructured hospital."

2. Specialty

We would also like to draw your attention to para 1.21 of the PHMC Advertising Guidelines, "Advertisements shall not contain laudatory statements (including statements of prominence or uniqueness) or superlatives to describe the services or premises of the healthcare establishment". Please be reminded that special interests or specific skills should not be mentioned in the advertisements, eg. "Specialist in adult and children psychiatric problems". With the accreditation of doctor’s specialty by the MOH and the setting up of the Specialists Register by the SMC, clinics can only use information pertaining to the doctor’s specialty or discipline which is registered and/or accredited in the advertisement.

3. Medical Qualifications

Doctors are also reminded that under para 1.1 of the PHMC Advertising Guidelines, "medical qualifications" means any degree, diploma, or licence in medicine and surgery or dentistry which confers on a doctor the eligibility for registration in Singapore under the Medical Registration Act." We have noted that a clinic has advertised the doctor as "Founding member" of certain specialist society, which is not provided for by the Act.


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 Council’s 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 Fees

The 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

Usual Clinic Hours: 9.00 am to 9.00 pm* SMA Guidelines
After Usual Clinic Hours: 9.00 pm to 12 midnight** $25 - $55
12 Midnight Onwards: 12 midnight to 9.00 am*** $50 - $80


* This session starts from the traditional 9.00 am or the stated clinic opening time, whichever is earlier. The time refers to registration or consultation time.

** For gazetted public holidays, this session applies to the period of 9.00 am to 12 midnight.

*** This session ends at the traditional 9.00 am or the stated clinic opening time, whichever is earlier.

B. Clinic Visit Claim Form

Definition: A simple claim form that contains the following :

(a) Basis demographic data (5 items or less) such as name, age, sex, ID number and occupation;

(b) The reason for the consultation or clinic encounter;

(c) The fees charged including a breakdown of charges;

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 year’s 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:

Dr Chee Weng Sun _ Badminton Dr Alvin Khoo – Billiards
Dr Steven Yeoh – Bowling Dr Tan Yew Ghee – Soccer
Dr Nithianathan – Chess Dr Jonathan Pang – Squash
Dr Goh Hoon Pur – Soccer Dr Julian Theng – Tennis

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:

(a) Complaints against professionals

(b) Disciplinary procedures – statutory/professional

(c) Indemnity insurance – mechanism and challenges

(d) Problems (intra-professional, public, business/commercial, political) facing the profession and responses.