Starting a Western Medical Clinic in Singapore
The licensing of medical practices in Singapore is presided by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Applications are made to Central Licensing Branch (CLB) of MOH.
Singapore allows individuals with medical licenses, societies and organizations to start a medical practice. You can choose to register the medical clinic under a business entity; however, you will first have to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA).
Rikvin is Singapore’s leading specialist on company formation with ACRA. We can help advise you on the ideal business structure suitable for your medical practice. Once you have establish a business entity with ACRA, you will then apply for a license with CLB.
The procedure to set up a medical clinic are rigorous. The application for license and fees are to be made to CLB. Application will only be processed when the license fees and complete required documents are submitted. If you plan to have more than one branch for your medical clinic, you are required to file a separate application for each branch. MOH licenses each medical facility individually, and requires a separate license for x-ray laboratory. Each license is valid for two years. The medical clinic has to be issued a license by MOH to practice before you can start offering your services to the public.
Choosing a Name
An important thing to note is choosing the appropriate name for the medical clinic. As of June 1, 2009, The name for any medical facilities cannot have the words ‘Singapore’ and ‘National’ without prior approval from MOH.
Choosing a Premise
When securing a premise for the medical clinic, be sure that it has been zoned for commercial use and approved for healthcare or medical operations by URA.
Once you have secured a space, do make sure that it is current on building codes and fire safety measures. If the existing premise is not set up to accommodate medical activities, you can discuss with the landlord to apply for a Change of Use with the Urban Redevelopment Board.
There are stringent rules and guidelines for the design and layout of medical facilities. CLB has set up online PDF guides to facilitate the process of setting up a medical facility. These guides will help you in preparing for the on-site inspection of the premise by CLB, which is part of the licensing procedure.
If the existing space needs to be renovated to comply with the regulations, you will need to apply for a building work permit through Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA). When the building works are complete, you will also need to obtain from BCA: a Certificate of Statutory Completion and/or a Temporary Occupation Permit before you can occupy the space. All renovation works are to be performed by certified or licensed contractors including the architects.
You will also need to obtain a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC) prior to occupying the building. You can obtain an FSC from Singapore Civil Defense Force through a registered architect or engineer. A business signage that is placed on the building will require an application of an Advertisement License from BCA.
There are several more licenses to obtain depending on the needs of your clinic. If you plan to dispense medicinal drugs, you will have to apply for a Certificate of Registration of a Pharmacy with Health Sciences Authority. You will also need to obtain a L3 License from National Environment Agency to use irradiating equipment such as x-ray machines. The license applies to a single machine. You have to apply for a separate license for each additional machine.
You may also need to apply for L4 and L6 licenses from NEA. Both of these licenses allow you to keep, handle and transport hazardous and radioactive materials.
When the facility is renovated and ready to provide services, you will have to arrange for an on-site inspection by CLB. Once inspected, it will take CLB up to three weeks to process all the paperwork and to confirm the compliance with licensing requirements before issuing the license.
Healthcare Professionals and Practicing Certificates
All healthcare providers including the nurses are to be registered with the appropriate governing boards. Doctors and medical specialists will have to obtain a Practicing Certificate (PC) from the Singapore Medical Council; and nurses from Singapore Nursing Board. Each PC issued is valid for one to two years.
|Authority||Processing Time||License Fees||Validity|
|Ministry of Health||Up to 21 working days||S$700 for one Doctor||Two Years|
|S$1,000 for 2-5 Doctors|
|S$1,500 for more than 5 Doctors|
|S$1,600 for X-ray Laboratory|
|S$1,600 for X-ray Laboratory|
|S$2,000 for Clinical and X-ray Laboratory|
Rikvin has helped thousands of clients form their companies since 1995. We can help you incorporate your company with ACRA in less than 24 hours. Our comprehensive corporate services can provide you with a customized service that includes application for pertinent licenses and permits that you require to set up your medical practice.
Ready to start a medical clinic in Singapore?
Rikvin’s expertise is unrivaled in Singapore. With 20 years of know-how in company incorporation, accounting, tax, payroll and immigration services, you can count on us to be your dedicated one-stop business solution.