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MOH cuts overseas medical schools approved for practice in Singapore

MOH cuts overseas medical schools approved for practice in Singapore

(Photo: Unsplash/Arvin Chingcuangco)

SINGAPORE: Starting 2020, the list of overseas medical schools whose graduates can practise in Singapore will shrink from 160 to 103.

This comes after the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) reviewed the overseas medical schools with registrable basic medical qualifications, it said in a joint press release with the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday (Apr 18).

The changes come as the need to recruit overseas-trained doctors abates, with total annual intakes from local medical schools rising from 300 in 2010 to about 500 in 2018.

"The impact of the increase in local medical school intake will be fully realised from 2023, when these students graduate," said MOH and SMC.

Responding to CNA's queries, MOH and SMC said that in recent years, it registered about 120 doctors annually who had trained at the affected medical schools. Of those, about 30 were Singaporean or Permanent Residents.

Comparatively, the local medical school intake rose by about 200 students over the same period.

"As we now train more doctors locally, the number of overseas medical schools with registrable basic medical qualifications can thus be moderated down," they said.


Factors such as the international and national rankings of overseas universities and performance of conditionally registered doctors from these universities were taken into consideration during the review.

Universities that will be excluded come from 20 countries, including Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States, China and India.

Some of the schools that have been cut include The Flinders University of South Australia's School of Medicine, the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Medicine.

Singaporean and permanent resident students who have secured places in medical programmes from schools that are no longer on the list or who are studying in the dropped schools before Jan 1, 2020 will not be affected by the change.

They will still be considered for medical registration with the SMC, provided they fulfil the prevailing requirements, which are subject to an offer of employment with a healthcare institution approved by the council upon graduation.

The council said that the list will continue to be reviewed regularly, to meet the evolving needs of Singapore's healthcare system and ensure the quality of overseas-trained doctors in Singapore. 

There have been six rounds of reviews since 2003, with the most recent amendment to the list made in 2009.

Here are the 57 overseas medical schools that will be excluded from Jan 1, 2020:


  • School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, The Flinders University of South Australia
  • School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle
  • Faculty of Health Science, University of Tasmania


  • University of Innsbruck


  • Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa
  • Faculty of Medicine, Queen’s University
  • Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Western Ontario
  • College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
  • Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval
  • Faculté de Médecine, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University


  • Faculté de Médecine, Université Louis Pasteur (ULP) Strasbourg


  • Fachbereich Medizin, Johann Wolfgang Goethe‑Universität Frankfurt am Main


  • Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune
  • Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry
  • Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi
  • Grant Medical College, Mumbai
  • St John’s Medical College, Bangalore
  • Madras Medical College, Chennai


  • Faculty of Medicine, National University of Ireland, University College Cork
  • Faculty of Medicine, National University of Ireland, University College Dublin
  • Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, National University of Ireland, Galway
  • School of Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (National University of Ireland)


  • Faculty of Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University


  • Prima e Seconda Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Sapienza Università di Roma
  • Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università degli Studi di Firenze


  • School of Medicine, Hokkaido University
  • School of Medicine (Tokyo), Keio University
  • Faculty of Medicine, Nagoya University
  • Faculty of Medicine (Fukuoka), Kyushu University
  • Tokyo Women’s Medical University


  • Det Medisinske Fakultet, Universitetet I Oslo


  • The Aga Khan University Medical College


  • Sun Yat-Sen College of Medical Science (Guangdong), Sun Yat-Sen University
  • Zhejiang University School of Medicine
  • School of Medicine, Wuhan University
  • The West China College of Medicine, Sichuan University


  • College of Medicine (Seoul), Korea University


  • Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid


  • Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo


  • Faculté de Médecine, Université de Lausanne (UNIL)


  • College of Medicine (Taoyuan), Chang Gung University


  • Faculty of Medicine and Medical Science, University of Aberdeen
  • College of Medicine and Health Sciences, The Queens University of Belfast
  • School of Medicine, University of Leeds
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Medical School, University of St Andrews
  • College of Medicine, University of Wales (merged with Cardiff University)


  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • Roy J & Lucille A Carver College of Medicine at University of Iowa
  • School of Medicine, University of Alabama
  • School of Medicine, University of Virginia
  • School of Medicine, University of Colorado
  • School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester
  • Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine

The revised list can be found in full on the council's website.

Source: CNA/nh/mi(hm)


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