The Ministry of Health (MOH) welcomes and agrees with the Review Committee’s recommendations on the Singapore Medical Council’s (SMC) disciplinary processes.
2. MOH notes that the Review Committee was appointed by SMC, to recommend more efficient and better ways to manage its disciplinary process. It also looked at ways to mitigate the increase in time and expenses for disciplinary proceedings. To these ends, it has considered a wide range of issues relating to the professional discipline of doctors.
3. Moving forward, MOH will work with SMC on its subsequent proposal to amend the Medical Registration Act (MRA) and Medical Registration Regulations (MRR). MOH also notes that SMC has moved quickly to implement some of the Review Committee’s recommendations to streamline the current processes which do not require legislative changes.
4. The Council members have developed substantial expertise and experience under the current disciplinary processes. To enable non-Council members to take on these functions in the disciplinary processes will require time and effort to build up the necessary expertise. The training of doctors and laypersons to be more heavily involved in disciplinary proceedings will also need to be planned, structured and continuously maintained. Nonetheless, MOH recognises that the active involvement of professionals in the disciplinary processes, including regular training, brings out the altruism of the professionals.
5. MOH wishes to express its appreciation to the SMC Review Committee and SMC for its comprehensive review of the disciplinary processes of the SMC. The Committee has also considered the feedback and comments received from various stakeholders and interested parties in preparing the Report. Once implemented, the recommendations will enable SMC to more effectively uphold the high professional standards of the Singapore medical profession and ensure that the public continues to enjoy safe and quality medical care.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
24 July 2014