- Singapore -
This page contains mainly data from the Manpower Research and Statistics Department of the Ministry of Manpower, with a smattering of newspaper articles and public domain websites. It should be seen as an average, rather than a comment on any one particular doctor. Naturally the variation both between and within individual doctors and their sub-groups will vary widely, both at a given time point, as well as over time.|
The Ministry of Manpower, during data collection, only publishes data for categories with substantial numbers (presumably so that people cannot use the data to indentify specific individuals - e.g. paediatric neuroradiologist). What this means, in practical terms, I have data for only 3 groups of doctors - "General physician", "General Surgeon" and "Specialised Surgeon". This has 2 big implications: (1) I have no data for the other specialities (e.g. "Internal Medicine Specialist" or "Paediatrician"), and (2) Even within these 3 groups, the small sample size for the surgeon groups (41 and 55) means that the variance in this group would be larger, not only versus the GP group, but also within the group, and over the years. So if in subsequent years, the pay of surgeons seems to double (or halve!), I would take this more as a reflection of the sample group, rather than a sudden change in true pay.
When comparing against other industries, note that the MoM data excludes performance bonuses, profit sharing and stock options. What this means is that industries that typically pay small basic wages but large bonuses (e.g. Sales, Finance Industry) will have their income under-stated in the survey.
Lastly, I have used a mix of 2007 and 2008 data for one simple reason - the 2008 survey lacks the "General Surgeon" category. So entries for "General Surgeon" will automatically reflect 2007 data. I might or not might update this page if more categories come in during the 2009 survey - but looking at my track record, I wouldn't count on it. :-)
Basic Wage : This refers to the basic pay before deductions of the
employee’s CPF contributions and personal income tax. It
excludes employer’s CPF contributions, bonuses, overtime
payments, commissions, allowances (on shift, food, housing,
transport etc.), service points (for employees in the hotel and
catering business), other monetary payments and payments-
Monthly Gross Wage: This refers to the sum of the basic wage, overtime payments, commissions, allowances, service points and other regular cash payments. However, it excludes employer’s CPF contributions, bonuses, stock options, other lump sum payments and payments-in-kind.
|Doctors vs Society in General|
Gross Wage ($)
|5||Commodities Futures Broker||96||10,693|
|7||Creative Director (Advertising)||45||8,400|
|8||Legal Service Manager||84||8,120|
|9||Risk Management Manager||71||7,626|
|14||Operations Manager (Finance)||3,081||6,830|
|22||Personnel/Human Resource Manager||661||5,919|
|27||Advocate and Solicitor (Lawyer)||378||5,640|
Note: * - General Physicians do not make it to the Top 10% in 2008.|
|Occupation||Number covered||Mean Basic Wage||Mean Gross Wage|
|Manager (Health Svcs)||743||6,109||6,869|
|Medical social worker||65||3,202||3,277|
|Enrolled / Assistant nurse||886||1,689||1,942|
|Course Fees, Bond and Starting Wage|
(Mean Monthly Gross)
|Nursing (BSc Degree)|
1. "Tution Fees" refer to Annual Fees for enrollment year 2009/10 payable by Singapore Citizens, after subsidy, excluding other fees, extra/special modules, attachments, books, etc. etc.
2. Fees do not include the required undergraduate (Duke NUS), polytechnic or O or A level courses.
|Doctors over time|
|Age Group||General Physician||General Surgeon||Specialised Surgeon|
|Basic Wage||Gross Wage||Number|
|Basic Wage||Gross Wage||Number|
|Basic Wage||Gross Wage|
|20 - 24||68||2,460||3,091||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|25 - 29||357||3,789||4,575||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|30 - 34||114||5,169||5,762||5||6,314||9,463||s||s||s|
|35 - 39||45||7,766||10,095||16||8,386||11,283||15||8,800||19,343|
|40 - 44||22||8,800||11,973||11||11,000||15,411||17||8,800||20,071|
|45 - 49||14||8,498||10,422||5||9,135||11,885||13||12,050||35,050|
|50 - 54||9||7,990||14,928||s||s||s||s||s||s|
|55 - 59||s||s||s||s||s||s||5||14,976||22,467|
1) Age distribution
a) The largest proportion of GPs are aged 25-29, whereas general surgeons peak at 35-39, and specialist surgeons at 40-44.
b) There are no surgeons below the age of 30, and few (<5) specialised surgeons below the age of 35.
c) This would be expected given the training requirements for specialists.
2) Jump in GP salaries
a) A large jump is observed from the 30-34 to the 35-39 age group (5762 to 10095).
b) GP pay is linked mainly to the number of patients / hours worked, and less on seniority (as opposed to institutional work)
c) It is hard to explain the doubling of pay solely due to this, since most GPs be able to double the number of hours worked.
d) We must thus consider other factors to explain the change in pay.
e) My hypothesis is that the the 25-34 pool comprises of both "true" GPs (in private practice) and "trainees".
f) The "true" GPs earn "real" GP pay (e.g. 8000), while the "trainees" earing much less and bringing the average wage down.
g) As explained in point (1) above, these "trainees" will only graduate and leave the "GP" pool around age 30-34.
4) Wage trends
a) GP wages generally increase with age (except for the 40-44 to 45-49 group)
b) Surgeon wages also increase with age, then drop
c) However, the data for this is equivocal given the small sample sizes in the last few age groups
d) The cause is also not clear from the survey ?part time work ?retirement ?fewer surgeries
|Interquartile distribution within specialities|
|Occupation||Number covered||Mean Gross Wage||1st Quartile||2nd Quartile||3rd Quartile|
|General physician|| |
|Specialised Surgeon|| |
Nothing much I can't think of to say here except that the range for specialised surgeons is higher than the range for general surgeons which in turn is higher than the range for general physicians.
|Copyright, Referencing and other fine print|
|Copyright||Unless otherwise specified (see below), my work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Singapore License. You are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work, and to make derivative works. Under the following conditions: (1)Attribution — You must give the original author credit. (2)Share Alike— If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same, similar or a compatible license.|
|Referencing: Please reference this site as per your institutional/journal instructions. Include the publication date and the date you visited the site. e.g.: Tan, Gerald.|
"Missing" articles and "One-sided" stories:You may have noticed that some of the articles referred to above can't be found on this page, or you may recall having read something on the topic that isn't here. This is not (for the cynical amongst you) a deliberate attempt at ommission. Rather, I simply did not save the articles at the time, and I can no longer find them on the 'net. If you have the soft copy, please mail it to me below, and I will be very grateful. :-)|
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Copyright notice: This page is for the purpose of my private research and personal review of the state of medicine in Singapore. To the best of my knowledge, it is my belief that this constitutes "fair dealing" as defined in the Copyright Act, Chapter 63 of Singapore Statutes. It is not meant to be used commercially or for purposes other than personal research or private study.The articles and content on this page have been obtained from various sources and websites, and I have tried my best to acknowledge the sources as far as possible. If you believe the origin has been erronously accredited, or you are the rightful copyright owner and do not wish for the article to be online, please contact me using the link below.