Singapore Goverment

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION BEFORE APPLYING A LICENCE

1.

Application For Licence

An application for a licence together with the requisite licence fee must be made to the Licensing, Inspection & Audit Branch, Ministry of Health, not later than 2 months before the intended date for commencement of practice.

Application will only be processed upon the receipt of advance payment of the licence fees and all the relevant documents for the application of the healthcare institution.

For institutions with multiple branches, each branch must be individually licensed.

Applicant (The Intended Licensee)

The applicant will be the intended licensee. If the intended licensee is a company, the applicant applying on behalf of the company shall be a person holding a senior position in the company, such as:
(a). Company Director (named in the company ACRA profile)
(b). Company Secretary
(c). Company Treasurer
(d). Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
(e). Chief Operating Officer (COO)
(f). Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
(g). Other person authorised by the Company Director or CEO of the company

Please Note:-

For all new and renewal licence applications, any licensee which is a company, the director(s) must submit a copy of the ACRA profile together with an authorisation letter with all the company director's signatures authorising a particular person to liaise with us on all licensing matters.
 

2.

Application for x-ray laboratory licence (new/renewal of licence including change of licensee and change of address)

The licensee (i.e. radiologist) of x-ray laboratory shall be responsible for the management and control of the premises, including supervising the radiation workers and making management decisions. Hence, the licensee must be a L5 licence holder. This will ensure that the responsibilities of the licensee under the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act are aligned with the L5 licence holder's responsibilities under the Radiation Protection Act.

3.

Guidelines On Change Of Use Of Commercial Spaces To Medical Clinics

Under URA's guidelines for conversion of commercial space to medical clinics issued on 23 Dec 2014, the aggregate floor area of all medical clinics within a commercial building should not exceed 3,000sqm or 20% of the total floor area approved or authorised for commercial use, whichever is lower. Prospective clinic operators intending to convert commercial space to medical clinics are to keep within these thresholds. Buildings on land zoned Health & Medical Care are not subject to these guidelines.

Parties interested in setting up clinics in commercial buildings are advised to familiarise themselves with the new guidelines and requirements for submitting planning applications. Interested parties should refer to the regulations for compliance before buying or renting shop units for clinic use.

The circular on the new guidelines on the change of use of commercial spaces to medical clinics is available at http://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/circulars/2014/Dec/dc14-28.aspx.

Please also refer to the "Guide for Preparation of licensing of Medical & Dental Clinics" at https://elis.moh.gov.sg/elis/info.do?task=legislation&file=MDC_Guide_REC.pdf for the checklist for setting up medical clinic in commercial building.

4.

Licensees Operating In The Same Unit Address With Other Licensees

a.

For New Licensees who submitted their licence applications on or after 2 November 2010

1. The current policy applies to all new clinic licence applications submitted on or after 2 November 2010 involving the use of the same unit address with other licensees. Under the current policy, each room/area in the unit must only be under the management and control of one licensee. For common areas such as waiting area, treatment room, etc, one of the licensees must take full responsibility for these areas with the agreement of the other licensees.
2. The rationale of this policy is to ensure clear accountability and responsibility of all the activities and facilities in each licensed area so that all licensees operating in the same unit will not have overlapping accountability and responsibility. This implies that each licensee must at least have his/her own room and different licensees cannot obtain their licences based on the same room/area. However, more than one doctor can use the same room/area but they must operate under the licensee holding the licence for that room/area.
3. For new applications, please send us a copy of the floor plan demarcating the rooms/areas under the management and control of the respective licensees. For common areas, one of the licensees must take full responsibility for these areas with the agreement of the other licensees. We will advise you further after we have reviewed the floor plan. We advise that you only submit your application online after your layout plan is cleared by us. Please note that an administrative fee, which is 20% of the licence fee, will be charged once an application is submitted online and is not successful (due to unacceptable layout plan or other reasons).

b.

For Applications submitted / Holders of Existing Licences issued before 2 November 2010

1. These groups of licensees located in the same unit with other licensees will not be affected by this policy when their licences are subsequently renewed unless the licensees (a) apply to add more licensees to the premises or (b) apply for a new licence due to change in licensee, clinic name or address. These applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the suitability of the premises to accommodate additional licensee(s).
2. Although these groups of licensees are not affected by this policy (subject to para B1), they should take note that they could be held jointly responsible for all activities and facilities in that room/area, regardless of who is using the room/area at that particular time. We therefore encourage existing licensees operating in the same premises to work out an arrangement with each licensee having his/her own demarcated room/area to avoid any possible disputes in terms of fulfilling legal and professional requirements. Should you decide at anytime to work out this arrangement, please send us a copy of the floor plan (with the demarcation and indicating the respective licensees responsible for the various rooms/areas) signed by all the licensees concerned for our records.

c.

Please click here to see the sample co-location layout (or floor) plan

5.

Use Of "Singapore" And "National" For Names Of Healthcare Institutions

With effect from 1 June 2009, any healthcare institution that intends to use a name containing words like "Singapore" or "National" will need to obtain approval from MOH before such a name can be used. Current and prospective licensees should note that no healthcare institutions shall use the words "Singapore" or "National" as part of their names unless they fulfil or intend to fulfil a national role or its equivalent. Existing licensed healthcare institutions will be exempted from the new rule unless they request (i) a change in name of the institution; and/or (ii) a change in the licensee. Existing licensed healthcare institutions that are relocating but are not changing their names or licensees would not be affected by the new rule.

6.

Names of New Healthcare Institutions (HCIs)

In general, the name of a HCI has to satisfy the following criteria:-

(a). it must contain the word "Medical/Dental Clinic, Medical/Dental Centre", "Laboratory", "Hospital", "Nursing Home", respective of the category of licence applied for; and
(b). It is advised that you refrain from using identical/similar to the names of any existing licensed HCIs, it is the applicant responsibility/ accountability to ensure that he/she has the legal right to use the chosen HCI premises name. The applicant must aware that if any disputes arise over the use of similar or identical HCI name arises in future, the concerned parties shall have to settle the disputes (whether by litigation in court or otherwise) between themselves.

Applications with proposed name that does not satisfy (a) but clearly reflects the purpose of the premises as a HCI will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For example, an x-ray laboratory can name its premises a Radiology / X-ray Centre, even though it does not contain the word "laboratory". This policy applies to all new HCIs, which include a brand new set-up, a new HCI set up by licensee but with name different from that of the existing HCI(s), and existing licensed HCI applying for a change of name.

7.

Use of the word "Family" in clinic name

Pursuant to the amendments to Section 65 of the Medical Registration Act which have come into force since 1 July 2012, the title "Family Physician" is now protected. A Doctor who is not registered as a Family Physician with the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) will not be allowed to use the title of "Family Physician".

For NEW application for clinic licence, if the medical clinic does not have at least one registered Family Physician (who is not a locum doctor), the medical clinic will not be allowed to use the word "Family" in its clinic name

For existing clinics with the word "Family" in their clinic name but without registered Family Physician(s) practising there, it was earlier decided that they could carry the word "Family" in the clinic name until 31 Dec 2013 or until the clinic licence is due for renewal, whichever is later. However, based on the feedback gathered from the stakeholders*, the above guidelines have now been revised so that these clinics are allowed to continue to use the name unless they request (i) a change in the licensee; and/or (ii) a change in the clinic name.

* The Family Physician Accreditation Board at its meeting on 28 June 2012 recommended that these clinics be allowed to continue to use the name unless they request (i) a change in the licensee; and/or (ii) a change in the clinic name.

8.

Licensed Clinic Name - Clinic Signboard & Clinic Stationery

Please note that the clinic name on your clinic signboard should follow exactly the approved clinic name and the signboard must not bear words/diagrams/pictorials etc that are outright offensive/uncouth or irrelevant to the services provided/specialty of practice. If you intend to add other words/logo/symbol etc. which are not part of the approved clinic name on your clinic signboard, you are required to seek our approval before proceeding to make the signboard. On the same note, your clinic stationery, e.g. MC, invoices/bills/receipts, medication labels, etc. should also bear only the licensed clinic name.

9.

Provision of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)

CBCT is considered as a special care service under "Specialised Diagnostic Radiology",3rd Schedule of the Private Hospitals & Medical Clinics (PHMC) Regulations. The licensing requirements & documents require for the provision of CBCT are as follow:-

(a). For new dental clinic application:
Dentist with postgraduate qualification; or
Dentist without post graduate qualification but had attended CBCT related training / course and must include the reading and
interpretation of CBCT images; andObtain NEA licence to provide CBCT.
The dentist is required to submit and attach the above relevant documents proof when applying for your new dental clinic licence.
   
(b). For renewal /existing licensed dental clinic
There is no additional documents required, if your existing licensed clinic is already providing CBCT.

10.

National Programmes/Schemes for General Practitioners / General Practice Clinics

For national programmes/schemes such as the Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP), Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS), Screen for Life (SFL) and other practice-related initiatives such as Community Health Centres (CHCs), Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and IT enablement,
please click here to visit the Primary Care Pages, the dedicated GP portal by Agency For Integrated Care (AIC).

11.

MBS@Gov ‐ Billing of Medical Claims for the Government

MBS@Gov is a digital service for private medical practitioners and dialysis centres to submit claims for visits by civil servants, pensioners and their dependants. You may join the MBS@Gov panel by submitting an application (https://www.mbs.gov.sg) after you have obtained your licence.

12.

Red Cross Sign In Signboard/Ambulances

This is stipulated in the Geneva Conventions Act (GCA) under Section 8 which states that no person shall, without the Minister for Health's authorization, use

(a). The red crescent emblem;
(b). The red cross emblem;
(c). The red crystal emblem;
(d). The red lion and sun emblem; or
(e). The words "Red Cross" or "Geneva Cross"

Section 9 of the GCA further provides that no person shall without the Minister's authorization use:

(a). Any design consisting of a white or silver cross on a red ground, none of the limbs of which extends to the margin of the ground, being the cross comprised in the Arms of the Swiss Confederation;
(b). Any design being a colourable imitation of the design mentioned in paragraph (a);
(c). Any design being a colourable imitation of the red crescent emblem, the red cross emblem, the red crystal emblem or the red lion and sun emblem; or
(d). Any words so nearly resembling the words "Red Cross" or "Geneva Cross" as to be capable of being understood as referring to the red cross emblem.

The maximum penalty for misuse of any of the emblems is $10,000. For more information on the Red Cross Sign, please refer to Geneva Conventions Act (Cap 117) at the Singapore Statutes Online at http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/

13.

Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Act

(a). Do you know about Workplace Safety and Health Act ?
(b). Have you done risk assessment for your (impending) clinic/healthcare institution ?
(c). Do you know that you need to report workplace injuries/occupational diseases to MOM ?

The Workplace Safety and Health Act is a legislation relating to the safety, health and welfare of persons at work in a workplace. Find out about the Act, what it covers and the responsibilities of the various stakeholders. For more information on the WSH, please visit the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) website at http://www.mom.gov.sg/workplace-safety-and-health/workplace-safety-and-health-act

14.

Other Requirements Before Applying A Licence

Before proceeding to apply for a licence, you are required to look into the following:-

a.

Registration of Company

If you intend to use the company as the licensee name or healthcare institution name, you are required to register the company with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

b.

Fire Safety Clearance

i. Any applicant who wishes to carry out works to his premises where such works involve fire safety works or may have implications on fire safety, is required to submit plans to the Fire Safety Department of HQ SCDF for approval and thereafter obtain a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) upon completion of the works.
ii. The process of plan submission and the application of the FSC will also apply if there is a change of use to the existing premises.
iii. The process of plan submission and the application of the FSC is to be done through a Registered Architect or Professional Engineer before the premises can be operated.
iv. Failure to comply with the above will render the applicant liable to court action under the Fire Safety Act.

c.

Building Works

Where the building works require approval under the Building Control Act and Regulations, you need to apply to the Building and Construction Authority or the Building Control Unit of HDB in the case of HDB premises for either a "Temporary Occupation Permit" or the "certificate of Statutory Completion". Where nursing home application is concerned, tenancy agreement or written approved from SLA/URA is required.

d.

Charitable Healthcare Institution

If you wish to designate your healthcare institution as a charity institution under the Charities Act, you will need to apply to the Office of the Commissioner of Charities (Charities Unit, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth).

e.

Licence for Irradiating Equipment (such as X-Ray, Laser and Ultrasound Machines)

Licences to possess and/or to use irradiating apparatus in your healthcare institution have to be obtained from the Radiation Protection & Nuclear Science Department, National Environment Agency.

15.

Submission Of The Following Documents Where Applicable

You will need to ensure that the following documents, applicable only to new licence applications, are submitted to MOH within 7 working days:-

1. Fire Safety Certificate (Under Section 20 of the Fire Safety Act, no person shall occupy or use any building unless a fire certificate authorising such occupation or use is first obtained from the Fire Safety & Shelter Department (FSSD)).
2. Floor Plan of the new premises (Drawn to scale).
3. ACRA Company Profile, if the licensee is a company registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
4. A copy of the authorization (letter) from Company Director or CEO of the company, if you are the authorised person submitting the application on behalf of the company.
5. Consent letter from licensee of the healthcare institution (HCI)who has agreed to share premises with the clinic for which this licence application is submitted. This is applicable only to cases where the premises to be licensed are shared with other HCI(s).

16.

Issue Of Licence

The PHMC licence will be issued on satisfactory compliance with all licencing requirements, including all relevant Licensing Terms and Conditions, Directives and Guidelines listed under the PHMC Act & Regulations.

New Licence
Licence will be approved within 3 to 5 working days, if the institution has met all licensing requirements during the inspection. However, the approval process may take a longer time if there are deficiencies that need to be rectified.

Renewal Licence
Licence will be issued approximately 1 week prior to the expiry date of your existing licence, if the institution has met the licensing requirements.

17.

Renewal of Licence

Renewal of licences shall be made not later than 2 months before the date of the expiry of the licence. Late renewal shall incur a late payment fee which is 20% of the fee payable for the renewal of the licence or $100, whichever is greater.

18.

Change of Licensee

The licence issued is not transferable. In the event of a change in licensee for any reasons such as resignation, retirement etc., a fresh application for a new licence is required. The clinic has to submit an application for a change of licensee. If a clinic with a 5-year licence changes licensee, the clinic will be given a 2-year licence.

19.

Change of Manager

In the event of a change of manager, a fresh application for a new licence is not required. However, the licensees need to log in to eLIS account to update the contact details.

20.

Relocation of Premises

The clinic has to submit an application for a change of address in the event of relocation of premises.

21.

Cessation of Practice

The licensee must notify the Director of Medical Services in writing at least 30 days before the cessation of operation, letting, sale or disposal of his private hospital, medical clinic or clinical laboratory.

22.

Penalty

Every person managing or having control of a private hospital, nursing home, medical clinic or clinical laboratory that is not licensed or used otherwise than in accordance with the terms and conditions of its licence is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.

23.

Application for Medisave Accreditation

If you wish to allow your patients to make Medisave claims, you will need to be separately accredited under the Medisave scheme. You may submit an application for Medisave accreditation as soon as you have commenced your application for licence under the PHMC Act. More details on the Medisave accreditation scheme and how to apply can be found at the following website https://www.mediclaim.moh.gov.sg/mmae/overview.aspx


Last updated on 06-Oct-2017