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         In the Ministry of Health’s Workgroup to Review the Taking of Informed Consent and SMC Disciplinary Process’ report released in November 2019, one of the recommendations was to implement a support programme for doctors who face disciplinary proceedings, to ensure that their mental and emotional well-being could be attended to.

2. The Singapore Medical Council (SMC) is pleased to announce that the Academy of Medicine Singapore, College of Family Physicians Singapore, and Singapore Medical Association (“the Professional Bodies”) have jointly established a support programme for doctors who face disciplinary proceedings with effect from 1 June 2022. This programme is open to all registered doctors in Singapore and not only to their members.

3. When a doctor receives notice from the SMC that a complaint has been lodged against him/her, he/she will be provided with information about the support programme from the Professional Bodies and how to contact the staff in the Professional Bodies for this support. The Professional Bodies will jointly match the requesting doctor with a volunteer support doctor to advise on SMC’s disciplinary processes to address any anxieties on his/her part. 
4. The volunteer support doctor’s role is to support, reassure, and provide information on the disciplinary process. The support doctor does not provide advice specific to the requesting doctor’s case, nor legal or psychiatric advice which are addressed by his/her solicitors and other trained professionals. 

5. To preserve the integrity of the programme, the volunteer support doctor will ensure that he/she is not involved in the care of any patient involved in the disciplinary inquiry, is unrelated to the doctor involved in the complaint, and has no conflicts of interest before he/she provides the support.

6. The Professional Bodies have worked closely together to administer the support programme and to ensure that any information shared between the requesting and volunteer doctors are kept strictly confidential. 
7. The SMC looks forward to a successful programme by the medical Professional Bodies to help doctors who have received complaints.