The Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) recently announced a system for the voluntary listing of telemedicine service providers.
Previously, telemedicine was the subject of a regulatory sandbox under the MOH's Licensing Experimentation and Adaptation Program (LEAP). Under LEAP, MOH and other stakeholders in the medical industry analyzed the risks involved in telemedicine and devised mitigation measures for the risks identified. The sandbox closed in February 2021 as the MOH was of the view that its purposes had been fulfilled.
Telemedicine service providers will eventually be licensed under the upcoming Healthcare Service Act (the HCSA), which will be implemented in three phases starting in September 2021. Under the HCSA, doctors, dentists, and organizations that have set up clinical and operational governance for their doctors and/or dentists to provide teleconsultations will be licensable service providers, but "indirect" telemedicine providers, such as those offering the technological support for telemedicine, will not be licensed under the HCSA.
In the interim, MOH will be listing telemedicine service providers that have fulfilled MOH's requirements on its website in order to help patients make informed choices. Such requirements include, for example, that the providers must have their doctors and/or dentists complete MOH's telemedicine e-training. Starting April 1, 2021, only listed telemedicine providers will be allowed to offer Community Health Assist Scheme subsidies and/or submit MediSave claims for the followup of chronic conditions via video consultations. Although listing is voluntary, participation in the listing will facilitate registration after the HCSA comes into effect.
Originally Published 7 May 2021
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