REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE
GOVERNMENT GAZETTE
ACTS SUPPLEMENT
Published by Authority

NO. 9]Friday, March 13 [2020

The following Act was passed by Parliament on 6 January 2020 and assented to by the President on 29 January 2020:—
Healthcare Services Act 2020

(No. 3 of 2020)


I assent.

HALIMAH YACOB,
President.
29 January 2020.
An Act to provide for the regulation of healthcare services and other connected or incidental matters, to repeal the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act (Chapter 248 of the 1999 Revised Edition), and to make consequential and related amendments to certain other Acts.
Be it enacted by the President with the advice and consent of the Parliament of Singapore, as follows:
PART 1
PRELIMINARY
Short title and commencement
1.  This Act is the Healthcare Services Act 2020 and comes into operation on a date that the Minister appoints by notification in the Gazette.
General interpretation
2.—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“applicant” means a person making an application;
“application”, in relation to a licence, means an application under section 10;
“authorised officer”, for any provision of this Act, means an individual who is appointed under section 7(2) as an authorised officer for that provision;
“Clinical Governance Officer”, for a licensee, means an individual appointed under section 24(2) for that licensee;
“code of practice” means a code of practice issued or approved under section 38, and includes any code of practice as amended under that section;
“conveyance” means a vehicle, an aircraft or a vessel, that is registered under any written law, or a train in Singapore, and that is used to provide a healthcare service in Singapore;
“dentist” means an individual who is registered under the Dental Registration Act (Cap. 76) as a registered dentist and holds a valid practising certificate under that Act;
“Director” means the Director of Medical Services and includes any individual who is, for the time being, discharging the duties of the office of Director of Medical Services;
“grant” or “granted”, in relation to a licence, includes —
(a)grant or granted on renewal; and
(b)deemed granted under this Act;
“key appointment holder”, in relation to an applicant or a licensee, means —
(a)if a company, limited liability partnership or other body corporate — a member of the board of directors or committee or board of trustees or other governing body of the applicant or licensee;
(b)if a partnership — a partner of the applicant or licensee; or
(c)in any other case — any person, by whatever name called, who has general management or supervision of the business of the applicant or licensee;
“licence” means a licence that is granted under this Act and that is in force;
“licensed conveyance” means a conveyance specified in a licence authorising its use to provide a licensable healthcare service specified in the licence;
“licensed premises” means the premises specified in a licence as premises at which a licensable healthcare service specified in the licence may be provided;
“licensee” means the person to whom a licence is granted;
“medical practitioner” means an individual who is registered under the Medical Registration Act (Cap. 174) as a medical practitioner and holds a valid practising certificate under that Act;
“modification” and “modify”, in relation to the conditions of a licence, include deleting, varying and substituting a condition, and adding a condition;
“oral health therapist” means an individual who is registered under the Dental Registration Act as a registered oral health therapist and holds a valid practising certificate under that Act;
“Principal Officer”, for an applicant or a licensee, means an employee or officer of the applicant or licensee who —
(a)is involved in the day‑to‑day management of the provision of the licensable healthcare services the licensee is authorised to provide;
(b)has the capacity, on behalf of the licensee, to influence the compliance of the licensee’s officers and employees with the requirements under this Act;
(c)has access to and is authorised to provide any information relating to the licensee and the licensable healthcare services the licensee is authorised to provide that is required by or under this Act; and
(d)is authorised to represent for the purposes of this Act the licensee in providing those licensable healthcare services;
“public authority” means a body established or constituted by or under a public Act to perform or discharge a public function, but not a Town Council established under section 4 of the Town Councils Act (Cap. 329A);
“public scheme” means a scheme that is established —
(a)by or under any written law and administered by a public authority; or
(b)by the Government in any other manner,
for the purpose of providing financial relief, assistance or support to citizens or permanent residents of Singapore, or any part of them;
“repealed Act” means the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act (Cap. 248);
“section 25 licensee” has the meaning given by section 25;
“special licensable healthcare service” means a licensable healthcare service that is prescribed as a special licensable healthcare service;
“specified committee” means a quality assurance committee, a service review committee or a clinical ethics committee, as the case may be;
“step‑in operator” means a person that is appointed under section 33 to take over the operations, or a part of the operations, of a licensee.
(2)  In this Act, a healthcare service is provided using a conveyance where the healthcare service is provided in or from the conveyance, moving or otherwise.
(3)  For the purpose of determining whether or not a person is a suitable person under the Act, the Director must have regard, and give such weight as the Director considers appropriate, to all the following matters:
(a)any evidence that the person is an undischarged bankrupt or has gone, or is likely to go, into compulsory or voluntary liquidation other than for the purpose of amalgamation or reconstruction;
(b)any prior conviction for committing (whether before, on or after the date of commencement of this section) any offence —
(i)under this Act, the repealed Act or any applicable Act;
(ii)involving fraud or dishonesty, whether or not the conviction was in a Singapore court; or
(iii)specified in the Third Schedule to the Registration of Criminals Act (Cap. 268);
(c)any evidence of the cancellation, removal or suspension (whether before, on or after the date of commencement of this section) of the person’s registration under any applicable Act for any reason;
(d)any evidence of the revocation or suspension (whether before, on or after the date of commencement of this section) of any licence granted to the person under this Act or the repealed Act.
(4)  To avoid doubt, the Director is not confined to consideration of the matters specified in subsection (3) and may take into account any other matters and evidence that may be relevant.
(5)  In subsection (3), “applicable Act” means any of the following Acts:
(a)the Allied Health Professions Act (Cap. 6B);
(b)the Dental Registration Act;
(c)the Medical Registration Act;
(d)the Nurses and Midwives Act (Cap. 209);
(e)the Optometrists and Opticians Act (Cap. 213A);
(f)the Pharmacists Registration Act (Cap. 230);
(g)the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Act (Cap. 333A).
Meanings of “healthcare service” and “licensable healthcare service”
3.—(1)  In this Act —
“healthcare service” means any of the following services, whether or not provided for reward:
(a)assessment, diagnosis, treatment, prevention or alleviation of an ailment, a condition, disability, disease, disorder or an injury affecting any part of the human body or mind;
(b)nursing or rehabilitative care of an individual suffering from an ailment, a condition, disability, disease, disorder or an injury mentioned in paragraph (a);
(c)conduct of any clinical procedure to change, or that is intended to change, the appearance or anatomy of an individual;
(d)assessment of the health of an individual;
(e)any other service of a medical or healthcare nature that is prescribed;
“licensable healthcare service” means a healthcare service specified in the First Schedule.
(2)  In subsection (1), “clinical procedure” —
(a)means any procedure that only a medical practitioner, a dentist or an oral health therapist is authorised under any written law to perform and which involves any of the following:
(i)puncture of the skin to inject, deliver, implant or anchor any substance or object into the human body, or to withdraw or remove blood, fluid or tissue from the human body;
(ii)penetration of any human body orifice to deliver into or remove any substance from the body;
(iii)external application of energy to any part of the human body that is capable of causing severe or irreversible injury to the body;
(iv)chemical or mechanical exfoliation of the skin that targets below the epidermis;
(v)manipulation or modification of the dental hard or soft tissues within the oral cavity that causes, or is capable of causing, changes to such tissues; but
(b)does not include any of the following:
(i)body piercing;
(ii)body tattooing;
(iii)application of intense pulsed light.
Purpose of Act
4.  The purpose of this Act is to regulate the provision of healthcare services, including the premises and conveyances used for that purpose, so as to ensure the safety and welfare of, and the general continuity of healthcare provided to, people in Singapore.
Government healthcare service not affected
5.  This Act does not apply to or in relation to any healthcare service provided by the Government.
Interface with other laws
6.  To avoid doubt, this Act does not affect the operation of any of the following:
(a)the Allied Health Professions Act;
(b)the Dental Registration Act;
(c)the Medical Registration Act;
(d)the Nurses and Midwives Act;
(e)the Optometrists and Opticians Act;
(f)the Pharmacists Registration Act;
(g)the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Act.
Administration of Act
7.—(1)  The Director of Medical Services is, subject to the general or special directions of the Minister, responsible for the administration of this Act.
(2)  The Director may, in relation to any provision in this Act, appoint a public officer or an officer of any public authority to be an authorised officer for the purposes of that provision, either generally or in a particular case.
(3)  Subject to subsection (4), the Director may delegate the exercise of all or any of the powers conferred or duties imposed on the Director under this Act (except the power of appointment conferred by this section and the power of delegation conferred by this subsection) to an authorised officer; and any reference in the provision of this Act to the Director includes a reference to the authorised officer.
(4)  Any delegation under subsection (3) may be general or specific, and may be subject to any conditions or limitations that the Director may specify.
(5)  The Director may appoint, subject to any restrictions specified in the appointment, a suitably qualified individual who is neither a public officer nor an officer of a public authority to assist the Director in the administration of this Act.
(6)  The Director, every authorised officer and every individual appointed under subsection (5) are taken to be public servants for the purposes of the Penal Code (Cap. 224).