Doctors' Pay and Salary
- Singapore -


Introduction
    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. :-)


Definitions
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- in-kind.
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
Top 10 Percent of Occupations (2007)
Rank Occupation Number
covered
Median Monthly
Gross Wage ($)
1 Specialised Surgeon 55 22,196
2 Managing Director 1,235 15,200
3 General Surgeon 41 13,781
4 General Manager 3,061 11,950
5 Commodities Futures Broker 96 10,693
6 Company Director 4,175 10,400
7 Creative Director (Advertising) 45 8,400
8 Legal Service Manager 84 8,120
9 Risk Management Manager 71 7,626
10 Ship-Master 33 7,474
14 Operations Manager (Finance) 3,081 6,830
22 Personnel/Human Resource Manager 661 5,919
27 Advocate and Solicitor (Lawyer) 378 5,640
43 Chemist 301 4,981
44* General Physician 634 4,979
Note: * - General Physicians do not make it to the Top 10% in 2008.
Ref: Ministry of Manpower Manpower Research and Statistics Department. Report on Wages in Singapore, 2007.
Appendix 2 : Top and Bottom 10 Percent of Occupations by Median Monthly Gross Wage, June 2007



Healthcare Workers
OccupationNumber coveredMean Basic WageMean Gross Wage
Specialised Surgeon 29 12,570 20,819
General Surgeon 41 9,105 14,627
Manager (Health Svcs) 743 6,109 6,869
General physician 688 4,829 5,775
Dentist 42 4,487 4,571
Speech therapist 16 4,091 4,253
Pharmacist 148 3,874 4,135
Diagnostic radiographer207 3,261 3,444
Medical social worker 65 3,202 3,277
Physiotherapist 148 3,184 3,351
Occupational therapist 72 3,055 3,149
Specialised nurse 230 2,911 3,349
Professional nurse 2,346 2,549 2,900
Enrolled / Assistant nurse 886 1,689 1,942
Medical receptionist 604 1,511 1,681
Hospital attendant 678 1,195 1,334
Ref: Ministry of Manpower Manpower Research and Statistics Department. Report on Wages in Singapore, 2008.
TABLE 2 MONTHLY BASIC AND GROSS WAGES OF SELECTED OCCUPATIONS IN ALL INDUSTRIES, JUNE 2008 ( OVERALL )
TABLE 4.9 MEAN, MEDIAN AND QUARTILES OF MONTHLY GROSS WAGE OF SELECTED OCCUPATIONS IN EDUCATION, HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, JUNE 2008
TABLE 6 MONTHLY BASIC WAGE OF MAJOR OCCUPATIONAL GROUPS BY INDUSTRY, JUNE 2008
TABLE 7 MONTHLY GROSS WAGE OF MAJOR OCCUPATIONAL GROUPS BY INDUSTRY, JUNE 2008



Course Fees, Bond and Starting Wage
CourseTution Fee
(Per Year)
x YearsTotal
Course Fees
Bond
(Years)
Bond $
 (approx) 
Starting Salary
(Mean Monthly Gross)
Medicine (NUS)
18,960
5
94,800
5
500,000
2,700
Medicine (Duke)
35,000
4
140,000
4
(unknown)
2,700
Dentistry
18,960
4
75,840
4
400,000
3,208
Nursing (BSc Degree)
7,580
3
22,740
-
-
2,500
Nursing (Diploma)
2,100
3
6,300
-
-
1,803
Law (LLB)
7,580
4
30,320
-
-
3,500
Ref:
1. Ministry of Manpower Manpower Research and Statistics Department. Report on Wages in Singapore, 2008.
TABLE 11 EMPLOYMENT AND MONTHLY GROSS STARTING SALARY OF UNIVERSITY GRADUATES IN FULL-TIME PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT BY DEGREE, 2008
2. National University of Singapore. UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS Tuition Fees Per Annum (applicable for Academic Year 2009/2010) (Updated 13 Mar 2009, Accessed 8 Dec 2009) available from https://share.nus.edu.sg/registrar/info/ug/UGTuitionCurrent.pdf
3. Duke NUS. Tuition fees and service commitment (bond). (Accessed 8 Dec 2009) availabel from http://www.duke-nus.edu.sg/web/admission_fees.htm
4. Nanyang Polytechnic. Nanyang Polytechnic Tuition Fees for all Full-Time Diploma Courses (Updated 16 Feb 2009, Accessed 8 Dec 2009) available from http://www.nyp.edu.sg/studentApplicants/coursefees.html
5. * Starting Pay for Medicine, Law and Nursing via personal communication.
Notes:
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 GroupGeneral PhysicianGeneral SurgeonSpecialised Surgeon
Number
covered
Basic WageGross WageNumber
covered
Basic WageGross WageNumber
covered
Basic WageGross 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 - 44 228,800 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
Legend: - None in this cat. s: Data has been suppressed because the number covered is below 5.
Ref: Ministry of Manpower Manpower Research and Statistics Department. Report on Wages in Singapore, 2007.
TABLE 5 MEDIAN MONTHLY BASIC AND GROSS WAGES OF SELECTED OCCUPATIONS BY AGE IN ALL INDUSTRIES, JUNE 2007

Personal Comments
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
OccupationNumber coveredMean Gross Wage1st Quartile2nd Quartile3rd Quartile
General physician
122
10,511
7,341
9,250
12,500
General surgeon
41
14,627
10,157
13,781
17,872
Specialised Surgeon
29
20,819
8,947
24,300
27,977
Ref: Ministry of Manpower Manpower Research and Statistics Department. Report on Wages in Singapore, 2008.
General Surgeon - TABLE 4.9 MEAN, MEDIAN AND QUARTILES OF MONTHLY GROSS WAGE OF SELECTED OCCUPATIONS IN EDUCATION, HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, JUNE 2007
Others - TABLE 4.9 MEAN, MEDIAN AND QUARTILES OF MONTHLY GROSS WAGE OF SELECTED OCCUPATIONS IN EDUCATION, HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, JUNE 2008
Personal Comments
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
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