Doctors’ pay


If you haven’t noticed, doctors rank very well in the top 100 jobs mentioned previously. Specialised surgeons (“specialist” doctors who perform surgeries) ranked number 1 with a 75th-percentile income of $22,821, while GPs came in 4th with $14,653.

These are only the 75th-percentile salaries. We can only speculate that at higher percentiles, doctors make much more.

Recall that Manpower Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen once said “You’re getting a bargain for the ministers you get… I worked half as much and earn(ed) five times more when I was in the private sector.” (Channelnewsasia, 9 September 2003)

Dr Ng was a consultant surgeon in private practice before he joined politics.

Even “part-time” general practitioners make a very comfortable living.

Locums are doctors who substitute temporarily for other doctors (see Wordnet definition). They are those whom you see when your family physician goes on a holiday.

The market rate for locums’ pay is $60 to $70 an hour. And it is not uncommon for a locum to get up to $700 per day.

But you ask: Do they get stand-in jobs all the time? The answer is yes. Lots of full-time doctors in private clinics and hospitals frequently need locums to cover them.

By the way, doctors are one of the most respected professions in Singapore. They deserve to be paid well.


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  1. What is the current salary for RP,Registrar,MO.pls give 2012 recent salary structure like basic,House rent+clinical allowance+others=gross salary and this excludes night calls

  2. I am an frca, cct anaesthetics with 1 year pediatric anaesthesia experience. more than 7 years experience. At what level should i apply for a job in singapore : associate consultant or consultant.
    I am eligible for consultant job in Uk.

    How likelihood is there of getting a job in singapore?

  3. I am being offered a position as a general surgery clinical associate in one of the hospitals there in singapore. I already finished my general surgery residency training in the philippines and currently board elligible. What is the current starting salary for a clinical associate?

  4. I am a specialist from Taiwan. Do anyone know if it’s possible to set up a cosmetology clinic in Singapore? Any specific requirements?
    Thanks for any comment.

  5. dear V,
    Dont ever think of joining as resident physician after FRCS
    It is a position of medical officer with no further scope to be promoted.Nature of work is real menial and you’ll spend all the time running up and down worse than your housemanship days
    I did work and resigned within 3 months
    Will never ever consider that.
    e mail me or more info
    [email protected]

  6. I am a neonatal consultant in UK and has more than 2 yrs experience after my CCT. Could you please give me any information with regards to the salary scale? And my wife is a radiologist who has just finished her CCT in UK with a musculo- skeletal and neuro radiology specialities. It would be helpful to know about the radiology opportunity and the salary scales. Many thanks.

  7. Link exchange is nothing else but it is just placing the other person’s web site link on your page at proper place and other person will also do similar for you.

  8. I am U.S emergency medicine board certified physician with 10 year of experience. Thinking of moving to Singapore for the experience. Can anyone tell me what will be the approximate salary and work hours please? Thanks..

  9. It’s very low compared to us standards… About $s1500. Be prepared to live like a student if you really want to come here!

  10. jayvee Says:

    Clinical Associates pay is fixed, at 3,200 S$, plus 800 $ housing allowance, plus a night call allowance.

    You will need to do night calls 4 times a month, if things haven’t changed ..

  11. That sounds about right! Note that S$ 800 will only get you a rental room in a shared apartment and probably not a very nice one…

  12. Wow, that is low.I could make that working few days in the States. Is it because I am a foreign doc, and need to start from the bottom? Why would any physician from developed countries go there.

  13. Just read year worth of messages. Is there any reason why I would start as a clinical assoiciate instead of consultant?

  14. Johnny:

    let’s be realistic.

    Many a foreign doctor ends up here, not always for $

    Some, as their spouse are here, some, well, to get exposure, and the rest, I have no clue !!!

    If you are suitably qualified, or have equivalent degree / exams covered, you start off above the lowest in the ranks !!!

    Not everybody comes and starts off as Clinical Associate ..

    There are those who start off as Registrars, Consultants and the likes ..

  15. can somebody confirm whether a doctor under observation will not be paid even by governtment hospitals in sgp? shall appreciate if someone can help me

  16. Thanks Michael for your prompt response.
    I was informed/heard that Doctor (with a overseas degree & experience) as MO during observatory period will not be paid any money!!! I got surprised and was of the opinion that nothing is free in this world – or may be to get used to the environs of sgp they may offer this and after confirmation it will be on regular pay !! is it so? pls advise

  17. Dear Michael,
    do you mean to say from day of joining whether under SMC observation or otherwise??? I understand it is MOHH !!! but not so sure
    Please clarify that the MOs do get paid from day one of their joining date whether or not under SMC observation ? thanks in advance for the info

  18. I am a consultant intensivist [1 yr] in Australia and i am looking at job opportunities in S’pore. What remuneration package[ salary + allowances] should I be looking at for a similar job in S’pore.

  19. Dear all,

    I have just completed my CCT in general psychiatry in the UK and plan to make the move to Singapore. Could someone give me an idea on expected annual salary (including bonus)? I expect to enter as an associate consultant. Also, does anybody have any ideas on expected earnings as a consultant and then later as a senior consultant? I have scrolled through the entire forum but could not find the answers to my question.
    Many thanks in advance.

  20. Dear Michael – Once again Request your reply on the following –
    as MO (under SMC observation for xx months) will one get paid from day one of joining date?
    pls advice

  21. tmat: you see, I am not a doctor, nor am I a recruiter .. and the ‘hit’ squad is on leave as of now I guess 😀

    Well, I would prefer to discuss / update you in private, alas, I am not gonna publish my details here ..

    hence my question: which organisation said so ??

  22. Dear Michael
    Thanks for the feedback and your time.
    As I told you I guess it was MOHH – Ministry of Health ??? may be I am not sure
    I may have to rethink on this if this is true

  23. Dear Michael,
    Yes every one agress that any person rendering services deserves to be paid – unless it is a voluntary service – However, the services of Medical Officer that too in a public/sgp govt hospital will not be paid !!!! during the observatory period – not atleast the expenses ? this is what is surprising me !!!
    This is what I heard/understand – but no exact details – I appreciate if any one from MOHH can appraise me of??

  24. to kr ie post874

    do your homework and enquire from sg intensivisits how much they are getting and also do the same with your co workers back in australia.

    you will definitely make more in australia, even if you factor into taxes
    if you work for a public health institition in australia, you are entitled up to
    A$ 50 000 SALARY PACKAGING, which means to say that the first $50 k is NOT taxable.
    do google what salary packaging is.

    good luck

  25. hello friends
    I am an Anesthetist with total 5 yrs experience (Including MD training) working in Delhi, India. I have been offered a fellowship in anaesthesia at SGH. they will pay me a stipend of SGD 2000 per month, no housing. Will I be able to make ends meet? I am married and have a 9 month old daughter.
    will i be able to get them to Singapore with me at this stipend? Should i consider taking this up?
    Please help me on this as I need to confirm my accpetance to the hospital.



  26. Hi Aslam

    if you are alone, and have savings, you can make do in 2,000 – approx 600 to 800 for common room rental, and rest for food etc.

    As a family, tough ..

  27. Thanks Michael

    Since you’ve been nice enough to answer, lemme be greedy! 🙂
    After this one year of fellowship, I will have 7 yrs experience in all. Will I be eligible for Consultant or Clinical Associate then? Also do they offer jobs at the end of the fellowships? Is it common practice?



  28. Hi Aslam

    I am not a medical person ..

    You should be able to get in as a CA, if not a Consultant after completing Fellowship, unless there is some exclusion clause

    You may look up the MOHH Site for that.

  29. Hello Guys,

    Those who are working in SGH EM or IM, Kindly clarify my doubt, I have offered higher level resident, I have done MRCP UK 2011, MRCGP UK -2010, Diploma in occupational Medicine from FOM UK, and DFM, Post graduate certficate course in accident emergency care. 12 years of clinical experience

    I asked service registrar but they said, I do not MCEM and will offer Higher level resident, is right post for my qualification and experience, What salary can I expect?

  30. from the straits time.
    Will love to hear answers from the floor

    LAST Saturday afternoon, my fiancee, who is a staff nurse at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital’s cardiac intensive care unit, told a patient’s family member not to use his mobile phone within the ICU as it could interfere with the medical equipment.

    Though she was polite throughout the encounter, she was subjected to a verbal tirade, including finger pointing, that was vicious enough to reduce her to tears.

    Senior nursing staff were called in and, at the end of the incident, not only was there no apology from the family member, but my fiancee was also informed about his feedback and told to understand his situation.

    This notion of “the customer is always right” is unacceptable.

    I understand that a patient’s family has to endure extreme stress and anxiety, but it does not justify verbal abuse of health-care staff.

    Health-care workers have the patients’ best interests at heart, and this may occasionally be at odds with what is seen as “good” customer service.

    As a doctor who has worked in both hospital and primary care settings, I have found that incidents of verbal abuse are not uncommon.

    This is most often directed at nursing and auxiliary staff, although doctors are also not spared.

    Abusive individuals are usually coaxed rather than warned, thus perpetuating the impression that they can get their way through such deplorable behaviour.

    Firmer action needs to be taken against them.

    It is essential for public health-care institutions to show unwavering support to all staff who have been verbally abused.

    Can the hospital and the Ministry of Health elaborate on what concrete measures are in place to protect staff from abuse? What forms of redress are available to them?

    Public health-care staff should not have to suffer in silence.

    Zhang Weisheng (Dr)

  31. Rueben: the floor is quite 😀

    Well, to an extent, gotta agree .. it does breed the image that doctors screwed up, when the customer-is-right attitude goes on to strengthen the notion that doctors are not upto standard, by the management falling all overs .. sometimes ..

    No, I am not in medical, but .. that’s what I see

    As per my conversation with somebody when I mentioned CGH – the answer was the doctors there are totally incompetent – and that’s being justified by him, based on the number of apology letters churned out by CGH

  32. Michael dear: unfortunately the ‘customer is always right’ etho is very damaging to healthcare in sgp. we have shot ourselves in the foot when we choose to embrace that useless and outdated mantra. only a screwed up system will embrace that mantra in a health care institution.
    everybody screws up everywhere just like our politicians. On the other hand, nobody deserves to abuse nurses, who are the backbone of the hospital.
    Nurses in Singapore are highly sought after by Australia/NZ and it is no secret that the nursing recruitment agencies are on the prowl, hunting for our experienced nurses.

    nurses and doctors here will make the choice if they want to migrate and given these poor track record of hospital administration when it comes to handling abuse by patients, our health care providers will decide if they want to make the move or not.

    so if our best health care providers choose to take flight, we will end up in a situation like south Africa, where nurses/doctors are leaving in packs.
    what can we do without our nurses 😉 – we/u can lick our/your wounds if they are not there!!!

  33. if you are not comfortable clicking on the link, just to and google ” a singaporean in australia blogspot migration questions”

    good luck

    high taxes in australia – no problems; public hospitals offer SALARY PACKAGING, which you can package up to A$50 000, which can be tax free if you are paying a lot of bills.

  34. Hi,
    Iam an Indian doctor currently working in oman as specialist ophthalmologist.i have 4 years post Frcs experience with no CCT from uk.i have applied for service registrar post in Singapore.what will be my job responsibility and salary

  35. asian doctor on

    I am aware of a possibility to be in a residency training position now in Singapore.

    If the service MO post ( who has already finished MRCP) is to be started before getting a chance for interview on residency, how mcuh of the remuneration would be offered ?

    I am just wondering how much an MO ( IMG ) can be in sustainable career position in terms of pay and prospect.

    Would Appreciate any comment .

  36. asian doctor on

    To Michael,

    Thanks for the information.

    Someone with foreign MBBS and UK post graduate degree MRCP is trying to get started with MO post, and if there is some condition like double standard in terms of having basic UK degree or not, ( people are aware of registrar / resident physician post being eligible for those with MRCP ), it might be a negative pull factor.

    Another pull factor for an IMG is unless we have basic salary more than 4500 per month, it is hard to get employment pass for somebody,right ?

    Please bear with me.

    SG is known to be embracing meritocracy.

    We beleive it.

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