Monday, January 29, 2007

Passport, please

I have no gripes against Singapore accepting more foreign-trained doctors into the country to practice medicine. If standards are in place to ensure that these doctors are adequately trained, & able to practice good medicine (whether as a GP or as a specialist), I think we should welcome them.

What I feel strongly about is the double standards that SMC seems to have for Singaporean foreign-trained doctors & non-Singaporean foreign-trained doctors. What one’s nationality is should not play a part in deciding whether one is fit to practice or not.

Why just a pre-requisite 2 years of conditional registration (for a Singaporean) as opposed to 6 years for a foreigner (according to current guidelines on the SMC website)? It used to be just one year for Singaporeans. The 6 year conditional registration for foreigners will be changed to 4 years as announced by Minister Khaw last week.

Still, why the discrepancy? Is it assumed that Singaporeans trained overseas are better than foreigners trained overseas?

I can understand that SMC may want to “protect” its own citizens. But when it comes to the practice of medicine, who will protect the patients & ensure that they receive proper medical care no matter which country the doctor may come from?

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