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Singapore Imposes Stricter Controls for Foreign-trained Doctors

Doctors who are not graduates of recognised foreign medical schools, including those from India, will no longer be allowed to practise in Singapore starting next year, the health ministry said Saturday.

These physicians, who come from countries like the Philippines, India and Myanmar, have been serving as junior doctors.

The Singapore Medical Council has allowed institutions to hire them since 2000 to work on a short-term basis to ease the shortage of physicians.

The change will not affect those who are already in the city-state. As of last January, Singapore had 7,611 registered doctors including 2,286 trained in foreign institutions.

About 400 are either from unrecognised medical schools or on training stints.

"The intention is to bring in doctors from top-ranked schools to serve" in Singapore, The Straits Times quoted a ministry spokesman as saying.

Singapore is expanding the number of doctors trained in the city-state and increasing the list of recognised foreign medical schools from 20 in 2003 to 140 currently.

Recruitment drives overseas have also been increased.

Doctors from unrecognised foreign schools who are in Singapore are being encouraged to obtain post-graduate qualifications.


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