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New care models for patients have emerged, and healthcare services are increasingly delivered through different modes, such as conveyance, mobile and online channels. This necessitates a shift towards a more flexible approach in the regulation of Singapore’s healthcare system. Under PHMCA, healthcare providers are licensed based on different types of premises (e.g., medical clinic, nursing home, hospital, clinical & x-ray laboratory) while under HCSA, healthcare providers will be licensed based on the healthcare service being provided.

HCSA better safeguards patient safety and well-being in the changing healthcare environment, while enabling the development of new and innovative healthcare services. It also strengthens governance and regulatory clarity for better provision and continuity of care to patients. 


KEY CHANGES FROM PHMCA TO HCSA


A. Broadened Regulatory Scope

Under HCSA, the regulatory scope will be broadened to potentially include a wider scope of healthcare services, allied health services, nursing services, traditional medicine, and complementary and alternative medicine (Figure 1). Services that do not provide direct patient care, such as Beauty and wellness services, are not included in the scope of HCSA, as such services do not involve the assessment, diagnosis, prevention, alleviation or treatment of a medical condition or disorder.

MOH will adopt a risk-based regulatory approach in determining which services are licensable under HCSA. While allied health services, nursing services, traditional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine are potentially within the scope of HCSA, MOH will not be licensing these services for the moment. The practice of professionals such as physiotherapists and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners will continue to be regulated through the existing Professional Acts.

Figure 1: Proposed scope of HCSA 

B. Licensing Approach and Implementation

Under HCSA, healthcare providers will need to hold licences based on the services they provide. This is a change from the PHMCA where providers are licensed based only on physical premises.

Click here to see which HCSA Phase(s) your service(s) are in.

The requirements for each licensable healthcare service will be stated in their respective Service Regulations and Licence Conditions (LCs).

Under HCSA, all licence fees will:

A.      Be based on a Standard 2-Year Licence Tenure.
B.      Be based on a per-service and per-premises / conveyance basis.
C.       Include Standard Administrative Fees

Click here for more information on Phase 1 HCSA Licence Fees. Details on fees for Phases 2 & 3 will be released later.


C. Refined Roles And Responsibilities Of Key Officeholders Personnel

Governance and oversight of healthcare services will be strengthened with the formalisation of the Key Appointment Holder (KAH)the Principal Officer (PO) and the appointment of a Clinical Governance Officer (CGO) for selected services, in addition to the licensee.

Suitability requirements of the various roles are promulgated in Regulations, Licence Conditions and a Code of Practice. Click here for more details on the roles and responsibilities of these key personnel, and click here for the full resources on Key Officeholders.

Please refer to the Healthcare Services Act for more information.

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TRANSITIONING YOUR LICENCE FROM PHMCA TO HCSA

PHMCA licensees will transition to HCSA in phases based on the licensable healthcare service categories under HCSA. In Phase 1, the following services were transited on 3 Jan 2022: Clinical Laboratory, Radiological Service, Blood Banking, Cord Blood Banking, Nuclear Medicine Imaging, Nuclear Medicine Assay, Emergency Ambulance, and Medical Transport.

Phase 2 will include Acute Hospitals, Community Hospitals, Ambulatory Surgical Centres, Assisted Reproduction Service, Dental Service, Medical Service, Outpatient Renal Dialysis, Human Tissue Banking and Nuclear Medicine.

Phase 3 will include Nursing Homes, and Preventive Health Service.

In Phase 1, a service mapping and data verification exercise involving the licensees was implemented. Moving forward, to make it administratively and operationally easier for the PHMC licensees, these steps have been removed. For Phase 2 and 3, MOH will be mapping existing PHMCA licensees to HCSA seamlessly.


A. In order to better prepare yourself to transit your licence from PHMCA to HCSA:

  1. Participate in MOH's Consultations on HCSA and its service regulations, which will provide more information on the regulatory requirements for the services you offer.
    • Consultation details will be shared over email for Phases 2 and 3, and in the HCSA Consultations page when scheduled.
  2.  Familarise yourself with the new Healthcare Application & Licensing Portal (HALP) to apply for and manage your HCSA licences.
    • HALP is the new licensing system that will replace the current e-Licensing (eLIS) system. You will need to use HALP for all HCSA licence applications and renewals.

    • Phase 1 licensees can access HALP here to submit HCSA licence applications and manage your HCSA licences.

    • Training sessions will also be organised nearer HCSA implementation in your phase to help licensees (and users) familiarise themselves with the new licensing application system. For Phases 2 and 3 licensees, you will be informed via email when the training sessions are available.

    • A dedicated helpdesk (via phone or email) is available to assist those who may face issues with HALP:

      - Opening Hours: Mon to Fri, 8am to 8pm excluding Saturdays and Public Holidays
      - Helpdesk Contact: 6768 9796
      - Helpdesk Email: halp_helpdesk@moh.gov.sg

    • FAQs, E-guides, and instructional videos will also be uploaded on the website as self-help tools for licensees

      - The HALP training guide for Phase 1 licensees can be found here.
      - Licensees will be updated when the training guide for Phases 2 and 3 are available.

B. Delinking inspections from licence renewals

  • In 2018, MOH introduced the de-linking of inspections from licence renewals for clinics, clinical laboratories and radiological laboratories with good compliance history, as part of efforts to reduce regulatory burden and enhance efficiency of the licensing process.
  • To further empower licensees to take greater responsibility to comply with HCSA, we will expand delinking to all HCSA services.

What should licensees expect with the de-linking of inspections from licence renewals under HCSA?

  • There is no change to the application and renewal process for your HCSA licences.
  • If you are providing a new licensable healthcare service, an inspection will be conducted before the licence is issued.
  • You will need to renew your HCSA licence at least two months before it expires. With every renewal, you will be issued with a 2-year licence. 
  • Inspections of your licensable healthcare service will also remain.  We may or may not inspect your licensable healthcare service during renewals and the inspection frequency of your service will be risk-based. As part of our risk-based inspection approach, a good history of compliance may mean less frequent inspections.

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CONTACT US
For HCSA-related enquiries, write to us at HCSA_Enquiries@moh.gov.sg

Apply for and manage
 your new HCSA licence in the Healthcare Application & Licensing Portal (HALP).

If you are not a PHMCA or HCSA licensee, click here to let us know if you plan to provide/are providing any of these services:
  1. Health Screening or preventative health services by nurses and other healthcare professionals
  2. Vaccination
  3. Telemedicine (i.e. teleconsultations by doctors)
  4. Mobile medicine (i.e. house calls)

For all other licensing enquiries, write to us at eLIS@moh.gov.sg