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.


About Author


  1. Celes, where did you complete your degree ?

    How many years experience do you have ?

    asian doctor: EP issues impact other fields, so far, Medical line is not impacted, as the jobs are govt hospital jobs.

    Of course, you may have issues getting depednant pass for wife/kids

  2. Just found out that GP locum rates in Malaysia is only rm45 per hr which is like $18/hr or 20% of what I am getting here! Was thinking of living in Johor and commuting to work here but the commute is tedious that is why searched for work in Johor but the rate is really too low…

  3. Hi Kawa, were you referring to my post? Are you a foreign doctor? What mission are you involved in?

    I got my info first hand calling up a recruiter from Johor from a locum Facebook website and my personal experience working as a fulltime freelance locum GP in Singapore the last few years. Earned much more than when I was in Singhealth bonded or when I was with Parkway Shenton as a GP.

  4. Kawa is a spammer .. key, click on his “email / from address” 🙂

    LocumGP : if you are a SMC full reg- then you should be able to make more here … as Locum .. 😉

  5. Thanks Michael…

    Yes, I am SMC full reg. Enjoying being a full-time locum GP so far, flexible, no politics and good pay.

  6. Hi…My MBChB is from the UK and postgrad degree Master of Emergency Medicine from Malaysia. What post can I apply for in Singapore and what is the salary like after tax…does anybody have any idea ?

    thanx 🙂

  7. Since you ticked the right boxes, I guess you can approach one of the agencies handling placement for Govt Hospitals, and seek

    They are best placed as the pay is pretty much standardised I understand

  8. Anyone knows if NUS trained VS DUKE NUS trained and VS Imperial college train HOs… any diff in the starting pay?

    I wonder what’s the diff

  9. Aiyo
    the imperial not yet graduated so how to have starting salary?

    Duke is postgraduate so Duke should be paid more lah since they are older and more experienced

  10. Interviewing for a consultant job in Singapore as a radiologist with 21 years of experience. Any ideas of what I should be asking for as salary? I am a USA based radiologist with a collapsing radiology market here. Monthly costs for a 1BR apartment ballpark? Thanks in advance.

  11. photon:

    asking pay ? 12K S$ upwards

    1BR ? no such thing in Singapore, though 2 bedroom Housing board units start at 1,900 onwards, and condos (with pool/gym/amenities etc) start from 4,000 onwards

  12. Thanks Michael,

    I assume those costs and salary are per month? is that right?

    So the Least expensive housing is around 1900 per month?

    thanks again…

  13. yep, 1,900 S$ a month or so approx, plus or minus a couple of hundred .. (more on the plus side than minus side) can get you a 2 bedroom HDB unit .. (2 room, 1 with attached, 1 common toilet, or old type – two bedroom and 1 shower stall, 1 toilet)

    Add an hour or so for travel.

    If you want near to town, then it can go to 2,400 or so .. for same unit

  14. Photon:

    We do have a lot of radiologists unless you are an interventional radiologist… So do not expect salary to be very competitive….

    but a typical consultant starts at about 12k on and senior consultant close to 20k… Again it really depends on how you fit in the hospital and their vacancy quota.

  15. I’m a Russian Dr. I have completed my basic medical graduation (M.D.physician) in Englsh medium from WHO authorised university of Russian Federation. Now I’m interested to work in Singapore. Is I’m eligible to work in in Singapore? Please guide me.

  16. I am doctor from india, did MBBS + Graduate certificate in palliative care from , Flinders university, Australia, also MSc in palliative care from Kings college London.
    Interested to work in Palliative medicine.
    As my knowledge my medical college donot exist in the list of eligible indian medical schools listed in SMC website.
    What are the chances to get the job there in singapore in palliative medicine?

  17. My husband is a Korean General Surgeon and has been practising for less than a year. He had done fellowship for subspecialist too however his university was not listed in SMC, is it difficult to get the license then?

    Anyway about working environment in Korea, I can say, medical fee is cheap here because of national insurance. People can walk in to any specialist clinics with out of pocket consultation fee of USD 3 to 10 per visit. Therefore doctor have to face many patients per day. Like my husband he can meet 30 out patients, 2 colonoscopy, 10 endoscopy and 1 or 2 apendicities op etc. He also got night calls or weekend calls for apendicitis etc. But he is trying to reduce the night calls these days. I think is not easy being a doctor.

  18. I have been asked to quote my expected salary for an ICU service registrar post.I have a post- graduate european diploma (EDIC) and a non-UK/US/NZ/AUS/MMed anesthesia post-graduate qualification(5 years course).Can anyone please advise?Thank you.

  19. ICO Doc: is it for a govt job ?

    whatever you quote, they already have a pay scale ..

    Not sure for registrar though – should be about 12,000

  20. Is resident physician is junior in ranking compared to clinical associate? Which one is better? Clinical associate post or resident physician post? In rank, is the RP senior or junior to MO and registrar ? What is the salary of a RP?

  21. mlika:

    Clinical associate = MO / Foreign doctors who can’t get full registration

    For the rest, if you are in the medical line, you can figure out I guess

    I am not in the medical line, FYI

  22. As a US-certified IM assoc consultant, is Australia or Singapore better in terms of job prospects/take-home pay? Many thanks

  23. Anyone? Also, seeing as Singapore is such a small country, would the demand for doctors turn into a oversupply in a matter of time?

  24. Hi, I am foreign graduate. I have MRCP(UK) & have been offered a post of staff physician in a govt. hospital for an annual package(including bonuses) of SGD 140,000/-. Can anyone tell if this is a good offer to start with?


  25. Hello everyone,

    The posts above are very insightful.

    I am an international student and would like to study medicine in Singapore and apply for loans offered to finance 100% of my education there.

    Please i would like to know how long it would take me (as an international student) to pay off the loan bearing in mind the interest, given how much doctors are paid in Singapore.

    Many thanks for any input.

  26. Hi,
    What is the difference between clinical associate and medical officer in Singapore ?
    I am a doctor from Myanmar. I got a degree from 2012. i have 2 years experience in my hometown.I finished MRCP2. How can i join to Singapore ?

  27. hi eliza, no idea how much your school fees will be as it also depends on which uni you intend to study at. anyway, after you graduate you do one year housemanship before moving on to being an MO. the pay is not that great, about 3500/mth for HO and 4500/mth for MO. will not increase that much for each year as an MO. about 100-300 increment a year.
    you can calculate how long you’ll have to take to pay off your loan from there.

  28. hi ll, clinical associate works at the same level as medical officer, meaning he does pretty much what a medical officer does every day. however the requirements for clinical associate is 3 years of working experience after housemanship, so they’re expected to be more experienced – pay is also higher than a 1st yr MO pay.
    that being said, the rotations are slightly different for clinical associate. they’re with the same dept/hosp for long, unlike MOs who rotate every few months.
    but if you’re keen to work here for long and get to registrar/consultant level, then it’s better to be an MO, apply for residency (pretty competitive but less so for disciplines such as internal med or family med), and work your way up from there.

  29. Thank u so much for your valuable information.I would like to ask you one more question. If I work in private service rather than MOH, can I apply for residency program ?

  30. Hi . Im andy . Finished my mbbs from india . From a college which is not recognized by smc . Is there any possibilty of me getting a job at a poly clinic In singapore given the circumstances . My fiance is a singapore Citizen .
    Plss give me some advice .

  31. Hi I did pediatrics from India from a recognized institute. I am also trained in both pediatrics and neonatology in USA. What are the opprotunities and expected pay in Singapore

  32. Med Grp Employer on

    I’m a partner in a medium sized medical group in Singapore.

    I must say after reading all these, our group’s salary is higher than some of our peers in the GP private sector and much more compared to the govt sector.

    We pay quite high in our group — up to $13-14k for a 40-44 hour GP work-week and even up to $17-18k for those who take up other roles such as home-visits and doing minor surgical procedures. Those doctors who have made partners take home the region of 20-30k.

    Those interested need to be fully SMC registered or near the process of completing full registration.

    In my experience, it is quite difficult to work in Singapore’s private sector without full registration. Which means going through hospital and then more supervision under govt or private practices. It is a long and tedious process that takes many years.

  33. Hi.
    I finished my MBBS from India from one of the SMC recognised medical schools ( including a year of rotatoryinternship), and theerafter I am currently in my 2nd year of employment ( 1st year as non PG in oncology, currently in ICU). I would like to work in Singapore from the next year. How much salary should I expect? How are the expenses ? How is the leave structure- will I be able to come to India for decent leaves at least bi annually?

  34. Hi, how much salary is given to an Associate Consultant in Neurosurgery in NNI (i.e. National Neurosciences Institute), Singapore ?

    Many thanks in advance.

  35. Hi,
    I have been offered a post of resident physician in general surgery in singapore. They have offered me 8000 $. this does not inculde the on call allowance. i wnat to know if this is enough for a family of three and also on call allowance means that i will be paid for every call ??

  36. please reply and also tell me will they let me in OR? since i am done with my training from my country and i have done MRCS too

  37. hi!
    i am an Indian.
    i and my wife are MD in general medicine with 1.5 years of experience.
    we are looking forward to for in Singapore.
    are we eligible to work as specialist ?
    what would be the pay scale and cost of living ?
    please guide.

  38. background check on

    When I initially left a comment I appear to
    have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and
    from now on whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment.
    There has to be a way you can remove me from that service?
    Appreciate it!

Leave A Reply