Healthcare Singapore Newsletter January 2016 In This Issue: SWAS Launches Online Registry Of Therapists Over S$40,000 Worth Of Illegal Health Products Seized In Joint Operation New Initiatives Introduced For Medical Litigation SWAS Launches Online Registry Of Therapists On 7 January 2016, the Spa and Wellness Association of Singapore ("SWAS") launched the SWAS Registry of Complementary Therapists, the first of its kind in Singapore. According to SWAS, the purpose of the online registry is to improve consumer satisfaction and raise safety standards of the beauty therapist industry in Singapore. It will allow consumers to verify if a service provider has competent employees and if a particular therapist is appropriately qualified to carry out the treatments. This adds a measure of self-regulation to an industry which has received 480 consumer complaints over the past 5 years. The online registry of therapists also complements the CaseTrust accreditation scheme for businesses in the spa and wellness industry, which is administered by the Consumer Association of Singapore. To be registered, therapists must hold at least one qualification that is equivalent to Singapore's National or Industry standard, which must be validated by SWAS at the point of registration, and must also have at least 200 hours of practical experience. The number of applicants currently stands at 500, but SWAS is looking to increase enrolment to 2,000 in the next 6 months. More information about SWAS and the online registry can be found here. Over S$40,000 Worth Of Illegal Health Products Seized In Joint Operation The Health Sciences Authority of Singapore ("HSA"), the Central Narcotics Bureau and the Singapore Police Force carried out a joint operation on 23 December 2015. They seized various health products including cough syrups, sexual enhancement drugs, prescription drugs, amongst others, with an estimated street value of over S$40,000 (about US$28,000). These products, peddled on the street, may be illegal, counterfeit or substandard and may contain undeclared, potent ingredients and other substance(s) controlled under the Poisons Act, which could potentially cause serious adverse reactions when consumed. Under the Poisons Act, anyone caught illegally importing, selling or supplying health products may be fined up to S$10,000 (about US$7,000) and/or jailed up to 2 years. For more information, please refer to the media release here. 2 | Healthcare Newsletter New Initiatives Introduced For Medical Litigation At the opening of the Legal Year 2016 on 11 January 2016, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon announced that new measures will be introduced to curb the practice of defensive medicine and the inflation of malpractice liability insurance. These measures include mediation, a shift to a more judge-led process from an adversarial process, and allowing medical assessors to play a more proactive role in the judicial process. To this end, a standing panel of medical assessors, comprising senior doctors nominated by the Singapore Medical Council ("SMC"), will be established. As this area is highly specialised, a list of medical litigation judges will be set up in the High Court and State Courts. These selected judges and the panel of medical assessors will receive training from the Singapore Judicial College, in conjunction with the SMC. This is a positive step for both healthcare providers and medical litigation practitioners alike, and we anticipate that more information about these procedures will be released throughout the year. For further information please contact Andy Leck +65 6434 2525 Andy.Leck@bakermckenzie.com Lim Ren Jun +65 6434 2721 Ren.Jun.Lim@bakermckenzie.com Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow 8 Marina Boulevard #05-01 Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1 Singapore 018981 www.bakermckenzie.com Access over 1000 pages of legal summaries in Asia Pacific relevant to the healthcare industries anywhere, anytime. Download from iTunes or Google Play and search for “Baker MapApp ©2016. All rights reserved. Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow is a member of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein with member law firms around the world. In accordance with the common terminology used in professional service organizations, reference to a “partner” means a person who is a partner, or equivalent, in such a law firm. Similarly, reference to an “office” means an office of any such law firm. This may qualify as “Attorney Advertising” requiring notice in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.