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     FrontPage Edition: Sat 16 June 2007

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Phasing out of temporary registered doctors for service provision


MOH and SMC Joint Press Statement on Phasing Out of Temporary Registered Doctors for Service Provision

In response to media queries about ˇ°stopping temporary registrationˇ±, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) would like to clarify that temporary registration for training and research will continue to be granted as institutional interaction and training of doctors from different countries are encouraged.
Only temporary medical registration for service provision is being phased out by 31 Dec 2007.
Existing temporary registered doctors brought in as service providers before 1 Jan 2008 can still continue to work here until they either become conditionally registered (acquired recognized postgraduate qualifications) or they have completed their 4-6 years of service in Singapore.
Since year 2000, SMC has allowed temporary registered doctors from medical schools not listed in the Schedule for providing service but only for a limited period to alleviate the shortage of doctors in the public sector hospitals and healthcare institutions.
It was recognized then that the longer term solution is to increase the number of doctors from our local medical schools and to expand the number of medical schools in the Schedule. This number was expanded to 71, then 100, then to 120 schools in year 2006, and recently to 140 foreign medical schools in April 2007.
From January this year, MOH and the healthcare clusters as well as the regulatory bodies worked together on a coordinated overseas recruitment effort to recruit international medical graduates from the medical schools in the schedule.
With the implementation of this better coordinated and intensive recruitment effort, the number of doctors recruited from schools in the Schedule is expected to increase. This will enable the transitional reliance in part, of doctors for service from medical schools which are not on the Schedule to be phased out smoothly.
To date, there are 399 foreign trained doctors on conditional registration with basic qualifications from Scheduled universities and this does not include the past many who have converted to full registration after their period of supervision.
Feedback from our hospitals also indicated that a practical timeframe to phase out temporary registration for service was December 2007.
The number of new temporary registered doctors for short term employment have decreased for the past 5 years to around half of the number in 2006 (89 doctors) compared to the number recruited in 2002 (161 doctors) as shown in table below. The numbers of new conditionally and provisionally registered doctors have correspondingly also increased.


New Temporary  registered doctors on Short Term Employment

Total new foreign doctors employed annually

% of new temp registered doctors on short term employment





















In Singapore, doctors can be provisionally registered (house officers), temporary registered for teaching (eg visiting experts), research or training (eg for research or training fellows), conditionally registered (for graduates from the 140 medical schools in the Schedule of the Medical Registration Act (MRA) or those whose postgraduate qualifications are recognized) or fully registered for doctors who graduated from NUS and have completed their housemanship training successfully.
Doctors who are conditionally registered become fully registered after completion of the period of supervision.
Conditional Registration is applied to graduates of medical schools in the Schedule of the MRA or whose postgraduate qualifications are recognised by SMC. Doctors who are conditionally registered progress to full registration if their supervision reports indicate that they are safe and competent doctors.

Source: Media Release 15 Jun 2007

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