We thank Dr Ong Siew Chey for his letter (What criteria led to removal of overseas medical schools?, April 22).
The Singapore Medical Council (SMC) reviews the list of overseas medical schools with registrable basic medical qualifications periodically to respond to changing local healthcare demands and workforce, and ensure continued high quality among overseas-trained doctors practising in Singapore.
With the addition of Duke-NUS Medical School in 2005 and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in 2013, the annual intake of medical students across the three medical schools in Singapore has risen from about 300 in 2010 to about 500 last year.
The impact of the increase will be fully realised from 2023, when the larger cohorts of students graduate.
As we now train more doctors in our medical schools, the number of overseas medical schools with registrable basic medical qualifications can be moderated down.
In reviewing the list, SMC took into account the international and national rankings of the overseas medical schools. It also considered various other factors, including the needs of our healthcare system and the performance of graduates from the medical schools, who have been registered to practise in Singapore.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has accepted SMC's recommendation.
MOH and SMC will continue to review the list regularly based on the evolving needs of Singapore's healthcare system while upholding high standards of medical practice.
Lim Siok Peng
Director, Corporate Communications
Ministry of Health
Deputy Head, Corporate Communications
Singapore Medical Council