We thank Ms Adeline Yang (Eye care: Ads touting cure for vision problems cause for concern, Nov 18) and Ms Chui Wen Juan (Eye care: Investigate firms that provide services by unregistered practitioners, Nov 20) for their letters.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) and Health Sciences Authority (HSA) are aware of advertisements purporting to cure various vision conditions, and are investigating these companies.
There are regulations in place for the practice of optometry and provision of medical devices by optometrists and opticians, as well as advertisements of all healthcare services, to safeguard consumers.
All advertisements relating to the provision of healthcare services are prohibited from advertising any skills or services relating to the treatment of any diseases or medical conditions, which include myopia, under the Medicines (Advertisement and Sale) Act (Masa).
This is so as not to mislead or induce individuals to seek the advice or services from the advertiser or any person referred to in the advertisement. MOH will investigate feedback received on advertisements which may have contravened Masa.
If the products advertised are misleading and found to be about medical devices, or concern practice-related issues, appropriate enforcement actions will also be taken under the Health Products Act (HPA).
In addition, all optometrists and opticians providing eye-care services must be properly trained, qualified and certified by the Optometrists and Opticians Board (OOB).
MOH will take enforcement actions under the Optometrists and Opticians Act against those who practise optometry or opticianry without a valid practising certificate, including prosecuting offenders in court.
Members of the public who are concerned about possible contraventions against the laws can submit their feedback via eLIS@moh.gov.sg
We advise consumers to always check the legitimacy of the products and professionals when making any eye-care purchases. If in doubt, they should discuss their eye-care treatments with their general practitioners, opticians or optometrists, so that they can make informed decisions.
MOH, HSA and OOB will continue to work together to improve consumer messaging on eye care, so as to empower consumers to make better and safer eye-care purchases.
Health Regulation Group
Ministry of Health
Wong Woei Jiuang
Assistant Group Director
Medical Devices Cluster
Health Products Regulation Group
Health Sciences Authority