Listing of Direct Telemedicine Providers: Transition Approach Prior to Licensing Under the Healthcare Services Act (HCSA)

27 Oct 2021

LICENSING TELEMEDICINE SERVICE UNDER HCSA

What will be licensed: While there are several forms of telemedicine (TM) (e.g. tele-collaboration, tele-support), MOH adopts a risk-based regulatory approach to healthcare services and will focus on licensing direct doctor and/or dentist-led teleconsultations under the upcoming Healthcare Services Act (HCSA) in 2022. That is, the assessment of health, diagnosis, treatment, intervention or care where the service is provided exclusively over a distance through the use of info-communications technology by a medical practitioner or dentist.

Who will be licensed: Licensable providers may be independent doctors/dentists offering teleconsultations themselves, OR organisations which have set up clinical and operational governance for their doctors and/or dentists to provide teleconsultations. For clarity, physical healthcare institutions with Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act (PHMCA) licences offering doctor/dentist-led teleconsultations (e.g. clinics, hospitals, labs, nursing homes) will also be required to take the HCSA TM licence.

Who will not be licensed: At this time, indirect TM providers will not be licensed under the HCSA in 2022. That is, those who do not provide direct medical care, and only offer the technology support for TM (e.g. platforms offering software-as-a-service for teleconsultation, directory listings, payment solutions).

 

VOLUNTARY LISTING OF DIRECT TELEMEDICINE SERVICE PROVIDERS

TM is a relatively new service in Singapore, and while there are benefits, there are also risks. In 2018, the Licensing Experimentation and Adaptation Programme (LEAP) Regulatory Sandbox for TM was set up to better understand the risks of direct TM service providers. With the increasing number of TM providers, MOH will start to list direct TM service providers as a transition approach prior to licensing under HCSA in 2022.

The list of direct TM service providers can be found here[PDF, 1MB].

For patients: Listing helps patients identify providers who are aware of the risks of TM, have put in place mitigations to address these risks and agree to comply with safe practice guidelines.

For providers:
  1. Listed providers will be involved in the consultations for TM regulations, have greater clarity on the upcoming regulatory requirements and thus smoothen their transition to HCSA.
  2. Only listed providers will be allowed to offer the Community Health Assistance Scheme (CHAS) Chronic Subsidies and MediSave for video consultations. More details on this initiative can be found here.

 

HOW / WHO TO APPLY

Direct TM service providers who wish to apply to be listed will need to:
  1. Complete the TM e-training by registering here;
  2. Put in place professional and process measures to provide safe TM care, and ensure compliance to these measures; and
  3. Submit the application and declaration form to MOH here.
    1. If you are providing teleconsultations as an independent doctor or dentist and will be taking the HCSA TM licence yourself (i.e. providing your own clinical and organisational governance), please complete and submit the declaration yourself.
    2. If you are an organisation providing direct doctor and/or dentist-led teleconsultation services and will be taking the HCSA TM licence (i.e. providing clinical and organisational governance for your employed doctors and/or dentists), you will (i) need to ensure all your doctors and/or dentists providing TM complete the e-training and (ii) then have the overseeing doctor and/or dentist (e.g. clinical lead) complete the declaration. Each organisation is only required to submit 1 application form. Please have the list of MCRs/DCRs of doctors and/or dentists who have completed the e-training on-hand as you will need to include this in the application form.
If your application is complete and successful, MOH will list your organisation within 3-5 working days.

 


For more information on whether you are eligible to participate in the voluntary listing of direct TM service providers, please write to us.

If you have feedback regarding your recent experience with the listed direct TM service providers, please share with us here.