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AUG 04/2013

Working in Singapore as a doctor

Singapore may be physically a very small area, but the south-east Asian island city-state is an economic giant.
It offers a unique blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, English and Arab cultures and religions, meaning it is wonderfully diverse as a nation. The primary language is English, making working as a doctor overseas a far simpler affair.
Singapore offers a great model to developing nations and its determined and ambitious government have built up excellent infrastructure, enabling residents to live in a safe and clean environment.
The health of its people is paramount and the country prides itself on being an attractive destination to both visit and live, with public places all smoke-free and strict litter policies.

What are the requirements for overseas doctors?

All international medical graduates are required to firstly prove their proficiency in the English language if the medical school they gained their basic medical degree in an institution where the teaching is not in English.
There are tests which you can undertake including the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Occupational English Test (OET), each with minimum scores set by the Singapore Medical Council.
It is important to get this out of the way as soon as possible so that you can then move onto obtaining your professional registration.
There are four categories, including the full, conditional, temporary and provisional registration - each of which is very different, so it is essential that you apply for the correct registration.
Doctors are currently being recruited, along with nurses and allied health professionals for a large number of healthcare roles across Singapore.
There is a large scale requirement for specialist registrars and consultants and to do this you must hold an American speciality Board Certificate, a UK Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training or an Inclusion in the GMC Specialist Register or western qualifications.
To be considered for a consultant role a minimum of five years post-board/ certificate experience at consultant level is required.

Work permits

As well as looking for doctor jobs in Singapore you will need to look into work permits and ascertain which of the several types you must apply for.
The whole process is managed by the Ministry of Manpower and the type awarded will generally depend on the salary range of the job you are going into.
An internet platform for work permit transactions is in operation to ensure that the whole process runs quickly and efficiently and all work applications are able to be processed within one working day - which is ideal for roles which start soon.
While salary is the main factor in judging these different work permit pass levels there are also points-based application scores which take into account your skills, education, work experience and the type of job you are applying for.
Therefore it can often be best to ensure that you have a wide breadth of medical experience in different environments to help support your application and increase your chances of securing that dream doctor job in Singapore.
For more details about living and working in Singapore, visit the website of our sister company in Singapore, Latitudes Group. 

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