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"Specialist Accreditation"

At the opening address at the 8th Ministry of Health-Mayo Clinic Foundation Update on 27 February 99, at 11.00 am, at the auditorium of the College of Medicine Building, Dr Chen Ai Ju, Director of Medical Services, touched on the topic on accreditation of specialists.

She said, "The reduction of ill health, especially for cardiac and respiratory diseases, requires the combination of direct clinical intervention and various public health measures. As such, we need good and highly trained clinicians to meet the challenges posed. The Ministry has always placed the training of doctors at very high priority. Besides providing funds and setting up the necessary infrastructure, organising training programmes, and working with the various professional bodies and hospitals involved in postgraduate medical training, the Ministry is responsible for setting the desired standards of practice in the country."

"We already have a well established system under the law governing medical registration to ensure that only doctors who have received the required training are allowed to practice in Singapore. When the new Medical Registration Act came into operation last year, a major new provision was introduced, namely the provision of a separate Register of Specialists."

Now under this Act, there is a clear definition of the various types of specialists, as well as the criteria for accrediting these specialists. A Specialists Accreditation Board has also been established. One of its major functions is to determine the requirements for doctors to be accredited as specialists in Singapore. Only doctors who are accredited by the Specialists Accreditation Board can enter their names into the Register of Specialists maintained by the Singapore Medical Council, and be designated as specialists.

Over the past 6 months, the Board has completed the accreditation of about 1, 500 specialists. The Board has also reviewed the specialist training programmes of the 35 approved specialities and established a set of requirements for future applicants for specialist accreditation in the various specialties. The requirements have been drawn up with inputs from the respective Specialist Training Committees. This set of requirements has been compiled into a Handbook entitled "The Accreditation of Medical Specialists". This Handbook will serve as the national reference document for specialist training and accreditation in Singapore. It will be available to specialist trainees, training institutions, and anyone who wishes to know more about how doctors can be accredited as specialists in Singapore.

The list of registered specialists is published in the Government Gazette,
List of Registered Medical Specialists for 1998.
It is now available at:
Singapore National Printers (SNP) Corporation Ltd
8 Shenton Way #011-03
Temasek Tower
Singapore 068811

The SMA has been authorised to publish the list within the SMA membership directory which is under preparation.