How to Set Up a Dental Clinic in Singapore

Published on December 3rd, 2015 by in Blog

The process of setting up a dental clinic in Singapore is very similar to the process of setting up a traditional medical clinic. All licenses granted to medical practices are governed by the Ministry of Health (MOH), and all applications will need to be submitted to the Central Licensing Branch of the MOH.

Who Can Set Up a Dental Clinic in Singapore?

In Singapore, individuals who have medical licenses, organizations, and societies can start a dental practice. In most cases, clinics register under a business entity. In order to do this you will need to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore, or ACRA. Once you have established the business entity, you can apply for a license with the Central Licensing Branch.

This guide is intended to help provide you with information on how to set up a dental clinic in Singapore. Please note that this information is for general guidance only and should not replace professional advice.

Establishing a Dental Clinic in Singapore

Before you can offer services to the public, there are a number of steps that you must take to establish your clinic legally. As mentioned previously, you will first need to register your business with the ACRA.

Premises Approval

After registering the business, one of the first steps you will need to take is to find a suitable location for the clinic. A Temporary Occupation Permit from the BCA (Building and Construction Authority) may be all that’s required to occupy a premises. However, if you wish to have a clinic in a conservation building, you will need approval from the URA (Urban Development Authority of Singapore).

In addition, you will need to obtain a fire safety certificate from the SCDF (Singapore Civil Defense Force) to ensure that all fire safety requirements are met.

The premises that you choose must be hygienic, safe, disability friendly, easy to clean, well ventilated, and properly lit. Laws require that all dental and medical equipment be sterile, functional, and effective. The clinic must also establish a safe disposal system for these materials.

The clinic’s licensee is responsible for maintaining and keeping an organized record of all the facility’s patients and employees. It’s also the responsibility of the licensee to ensure that all professionals working in the clinic are licensed and registered to practice in the country.

Selecting a Name

Once you have chosen a premises, you’ll need to establish a name for your clinic. Please note that as of June 2009, no medical facilities can have the words “National” and “Singapore” without obtaining approval from the Ministry of Health.

Appoint a Clinic Manager and Establish Responsibilities

Next, you’ll need to appoint a clinic manager. This will be the person responsible for managing the dental clinic. Clinic managers must be a medical practitioner, and must be registered with the Singapore Medical Council.

The clinic manager will be in charge of all the personnel working in the premises and is prohibited from delegating duties that only he or she can perform.

Obtain Necessary Licenses

In order to operate a dental clinic legally in Singapore, you will need to obtain the appropriate licenses.

First, you’ll need to obtain a Medical Clinic License. To obtain a license, you will need the following:

  • A floor plan of the clinic’s premises
  • A Fire Safety Clearance Certificate
  • An extract of the company profile from the ACRA

A licensing fee will also be required. The fee will depend on how many dentists or medical professionals will be practicing at the clinic at any given time.

Licensing fees are as follows:

  • S$700 for 1 dentist
  • S$1000 for 2 to 5 dentists
  • S$1,500 for 5+ dentists

The license will need to be approved by the Ministry of Health and can take up to 21 working days to process. Licenses are valid for two years.

In addition to a Medical Clinic License, you may also need to apply for several other licenses.

L3 License

An L3 license will be required if your clinic will be using irradiating equipment, such as an x-ray machine. Every piece of irradiating equipment will need to have its own L3 license, so if you have more than one x-ray machine, you will need to obtain additional L3 licenses for each one. All irradiating equipment must be installed properly and with the appropriate shielding to prevent hazardous radiation exposure.

In order to obtain an L3 license, you will need to submit the following documentation to the NEA (National Environment Agency):

  • A floor plan of the room that indicates where the machine will be positioned. You will also need to indicate the usage of the areas that surround the room.
  • The completed application form for an L3 license.
  • Proof of purchase of the machine or specifications of the equipment.

A licensing fee will also be required. This fee will be dependent on how many irradiating machines you will have in your clinic. Fees range from S$40 to S$310 for each machine. Various license lengths are also available, including: bi-annual, annual, nine-month, six-month, and three-month options. Applications are typically processed within 10 days.

Certificate of Registration of a Pharmacy

If you plan on dispensing medication to your patients, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Registration of a Pharmacy. This certificate can be obtained from the Health Sciences Authority.

The Health Sciences Authority’s pharmacy auditors will need to conduct a pre-approval audit of the clinic’s pharmacy area. In order to obtain this certificate, you will need to pay an application fee of S$500.

Other Licenses

In addition to the licenses listed above, you may also need to obtain additional licenses. These include:

  • Medical Advertisements and Sales Promotion Permit: Required for the advertising of pharmaceutical products to visitors or patients of your clinic.
  • Non-residential TV License: Required if you plan on installing a television or any other equipment that is capable of receiving broadcast signals.

Although the process of setting up a dental clinic in Singapore is relatively straightforward, it’s advisable that you hire a professional to guide you through the process and ensure that you have obtained all the necessary licenses to operate legally.

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