Singapore’s Medical Council

Goh Jun Cheng

The Singapore Medical Council (SMC) serves a vital role as the regulatory body overseeing medical professionals and education in Singapore.

Let’s explore what the SMC covers related to licensing, conduct, development and more.

Overview of the SMC

Established under the Medical Registration Act, the SMC regulates all registered medical practitioners in Singapore. This currently includes over 20,000 doctors spanning both public healthcare and private practice.

The SMC oversees critical functions like:

  • Setting and upholding ethical standards
  • Licensing and renewing practitioners
  • Accrediting advanced specialty training
  • Administering compulsory continuing education
  • Investigating complaints and misconduct

Through its regulatory role, the SMC maintains discipline and quality across Singapore’s medical landscape.

Registration and Licensing

A key duty of the SMC involves approving licenses for doctors to practice in Singapore through registration and issuing practicing certificates.

Doctors must meet qualification criteria set by the SMC including recognized medical degrees, exams, training backgrounds and international accreditation. Licence renewal is compulsory every 2 years with requirements.

SMC also regulates technical categories like dentists, pharmacists, nurses, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and others through statutory boards.

Ethical and Conduct Guidelines

The SMC publishes detailed ethical codes and guidelines that all Singapore doctors must adhere to in their practice.

This covers professional ethics, patients’ rights, informed consent, record keeping, anti-discrimination rules, end-of-life care, aesthetic practices advertising and more. Breaching guidelines risks disciplinary action.

Advancing Medical Education

Beyond licensing and ethics, the SMC strives to improve the depth and quality of Singapore’s medical education and training frameworks.

It oversees accreditation for healthcare institutions and post-graduate residencies. SMC runs mandatory continuing medical education programs through its CME Institute. This pushes doctors to keep skills updated through their career.


Through stringent standards around licensing, conduct, skills development and discipline, the Singapore Medical Council helps safeguard the integrity and advancement of healthcare practitioners. Its oversight instills public confidence and safety.

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