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SMC revises its stance on social media

27 September 2016

For the first time since 2002, the Singapore Medical Council has published a revised edition of its Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines. The new edition – which comes into force from January 2017 – looks to address the changes in medical practice over the past 14 years, much of which concerns social media.

Naturally, the advancement in technology means that practicing medicine – particularly when it comes to issues like social media – has changed a lot since the last set of guidelines. The ECEG lists the entire range of potential inappropriate behaviours on social media, including posting defamatory opinions about patients or colleagues online, engaging in inappropriate behaviour or appearing intoxicated.

Practitioners must also be mindful that, thanks to the rise in social media, there are more patient confidentiality pitfalls to fall down than ever before, so doctors must take care to avoid unintentional data disclosures. Last month, MPS Connect covered social media policy, delivering a ‘need to know’ rundown. If you missed it, you can access it here.


In addition to social media policy, the ECEG will cover aesthetic practice, paying intermediary fees and telemedicine.

Alongside the updated Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines, the SMC Handbook on Medical Ethics – an educational resource containing additional material - has also been published. The SMC Handbook expands on the guide laid out in the ECEG and provides advice on the best practices.