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Temporary Registration

SMC grants temporary registration to the following groups of doctors:

A. Visiting experts who possess medical knowledge, experience and skills which SMC considers to be of international standing or are such as to have special value to the people of Singapore; and
B. International medical graduates who are in Singapore for the purpose of teaching, research or postgraduate study in medicine under an SMC-approved training programme.

(A)

TEMPORARY REGISTRATION AS A VISITING EXPERT(VE)

Not all VEs need to be registered. VEs who do not perform procedures on patients or carry out consultations with patients need not register with SMC.  However, the VE must apply for temporary registration if he is required to perform procedures or demonstrate his skills on patients.

Eligibility requirements:

The VE must:

a) possess the pre-requisite medical knowledge, experience and skills which SMC considers to be of international standing or are such as to have special value to the people of Singapore. Verification of the visiting expert's expertise must be obtained;
b) still be in active clinical practice1;
c) have a basic medical degree from an accredited medical university or medical school;
d) have passed the relevant national licensing examination in the country of conferment of basic degree, where applicable;
e) be registered as a medical practitioner in the country where he is currently practising in; and
f) be certified to be of good standing by the Medical Council or the relevant national authority.  
   

(B)

TEMPORARY REGISTRATION FOR TRAINING

The doctor must be in active clinical practice1, and have an offer of a training position either as a Clinical Fellow or Clinical Observer in an SMC-approved healthcare institution. 
The doctor must:
a) have a basic medical degree from an accredited medical university or medical school;.
b) have passed the relevant national licensing examination in the country of conferment of basic degree, where applicable;
c) have evidence of at least 12 months housemanship / internship with a certificate of satisfactory completion of housemanship or equivalent;
d) be registered as a medical practitioner in the country where he is currently practising; and
e) be certified to be of good standing by the Medical Council or the relevant national authority.
1The doctor should be in active clinical practice for the 3 years preceding the application for medical registration. 

(i) Postgraduate Training Programmes for Clinical Fellows

Clinical Fellowships are approved for up to 1 year only. SMC-approved healthcare institutions must submit the postgraduate training programmes for accreditation by SMC first, before they are allowed to accept Clinical Fellows into the SMC-accredited programme.

Temporary registration granted for Clinical Fellowship will not be extended beyond the duration of the approved training programme.

In addition to the above criteria, Clinical Fellows must:
a) have a minimum of 3 years of working experience as a medical officer (or equivalent);
b) fulfil English Language requirements of SMC if the medium of instruction for the basic medical qualification is not in English;
c)
 
preferably have obtained a postgraduate diploma or degree in his country or overseas;
d) be sponsored by the government, regional health authority or an appropriate institution in the home country; and
e) As a Clinical Fellow, the doctor will be allowed to be involved in patient care and make entries in patients' case notes, communicate care plans to patients and fellow healthcare professionals, and perform procedures under direct supervision or Level 1 supervision. 

(ii) Postgraduate Training Programmes for Clinical Observers

Clinical Observerships are capped at 6 months and the training programmes do not need to be approved by SMC. Temporary registration granted for Clinical Observership will not be extended.

Clinical Observers, unlike Clinical Fellows,
- are not allowed to be involved in direct patient care;
- are not allowed to make entries in patients' case notes or write prescriptions for patients.

Nevertheless, they can be allowed to assist in procedures under direct supervision subject to Level 1 supervision by their supervisor at all times.

The table below summarises the differences between Clinical Fellowship and Clinical Observership

Requirements/Scope of training

Clinical Fellows

Clinical Observers

Fulfil English language requirements (if medium of instruction for basic degree is not in English) Yes No
Sponsorship  Government, regional health authority or an appropriate institution in the applicant’s home country  Not specified
Require at least 3 years post-housemanship / post-internship experience as a medical officer or have a medical postgraduate qualification Yes No
Period of training allowed Maximum of 12 months Maximum of 6 months
Involved in patient care, write case notes, communicate care plans & perform procedures under direct supervision Yes, only under direct supervision Only allowed to assist in procedures under direct supervision
Accreditation of training programme Requires accreditation by SMC No accreditation required

(C)

TEMPORARY REGISTRATION FOR RESEARCH

Medical registration is required if the research doctors perform the following list of activities:

a) Invasive procedures beyond venesection or phlebotomy;
b) Patient contact that go beyond superficial non-intimate examinations (such as blood pressure or pulse taking, observation of patient characteristics in non-intimate areas, simple non-invasive clinical examinations such as eliciting tendon reflexes);
c) Intimate examinations such as vaginal inspection or speculum inspections for O&G research, examination of other intimate areas; or
d) Any patient contact, examination or action that would impact or contribute to the clinical management or monitoring of the patient for an active disease; or
e) Any activity by the research doctor that would impact or contribute to the clinical management of the patient; other than the allowable activity for treatment plans ordered by the patient’s treating physician.

If the research doctor is performing any of the activities listed above, medical registration with SMC is necessary.

Cancellation of Temporary Registration:

The SMC may cancel the doctor’s temporary registration if the doctor:

- has breached the conditions of his medical registration; or
- has ceased practice at the approved place of supervision; or
- was absent from his supervised practice without the prior approval of SMC.

The doctor’s practising certificate will be deemed cancelled in the event that his registration has been cancelled by the SMC.

Request for No-Pay Leave (NPL)
 

With effect from 1 May 2015, a temporarily registered doctor would no longer be required to submit an application for NPL for the Medical Council’s approval, before he goes on NPL.

However, the training/research institution must ensure that the doctor remains under the employment of the institution during the period of NPL and must inform the Medical Council if the doctor is no longer under the employment of the institution. The doctor’s temporary registration would not be automatically renewed beyond the approved duration to compensate for the period of NPL.

APPLICATION FORM AND FEES

Please refer to Documentation Requirements & Processing Time for more information.

PRACTISING CERTIFICATE AND FEE

Upon registration, the doctor is required to apply for a practising certificate before he / she can practise in Singapore. Please refer to Fees Schedule Table for the fee payable. A practising certificate will be issued once a doctor is successfully registered.

No refund will be given for any unused period of the practising certificate if the doctor did not start or stops practice in Singapore.

Under section 17(1) of the Medical Registration Act (MRA), any unauthorised person (including a doctor who does not have a valid practising certificate) who:

a) practises medicine;
b) wilfully and falsely pretends to be a duly qualified medical practitioner;
c) practises medicine or any branch of medicine, under the style or title of a physician, surgeon, doctor, licentiate in medicine or surgery, bachelor of medicine, or medical practitioner, or under any name, title, addition or description implying that he holds any diploma or degree in medicine or surgery or in any branch of medicine;
d) advertises or holds himself out as a medical practitioner; or
e) contravenes section 13 or 14 of the MRA

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both and, in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding $200,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.

Last updated: 10 Sep 2018 23:34