SMA offers programmes to help foreign doctors assimilate here

We refer to the article, "Number of foreign doctors rising in public sector" (Monday).

The growth in the number of people residing in Singapore and its ageing population has had a far-reaching impact on the medical institutions and its fraternity, including the pressing need for more doctors.

We agree with the Ministry of Health that there is a need to assimilate the medical professionals from abroad into the local environment.

Foreign-trained doctors include both foreign doctors and Singapore doctors trained overseas.

The percentage of foreign-trained doctors in Singapore has grown slightly, from 36.45 per cent in 2011 to 41.42 per cent last year.

The Singapore Medical Association (SMA) started organising seminars for foreign-trained doctors in 2011, as Singapore is unique in its customs and practices.

These seminars were organised to provide insights into the Singapore healthcare system, including the intricacies of Singaporean culture and customs, and help foreign doctors better understand and assimilate into our society.

We hope that foreign-trained doctors who currently do not voluntarily join medically related professional bodies, which can help them understand local contextual issues and interact with the local medical fraternity better, will find the SMA and our educational outreach and development programmes helpful in understanding the local culture and clinical practice environment.

Wong Tien Hua (Dr)

President

Singapore Medical Association

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2015, with the headline 'SMA offers programmes to help foreign doctors assimilate here'. Print Edition | Subscribe