History of The Chiropractic Association (Singapore)

Singapore Chiropractic History



Chiropractic was established in Singapore in 1978 by an American, Dr. Carol S.Elder-Birnbaum, when she received the first employment pass issued to a Chiropractor in Singapore. During the period 1983-1987, additional DC’s joined the practice. It was during this period that the association was formed, getting its registration as a society in January 1988.

In 1990, The Chiropractic Association (Singapore) became the national constituent member of the World Federation of Chiropractic, which has non-governmental organization (NGO) status with World Health Organization.

Additional chiropractic clinics were established throughout the 1990's and membership grew. As The Chiropractic Association (Singapore) has matured, the focus of the association is to improve the level of professionalism of Chiropractic in Singapore.

In 2000, meetings with Ministry of Health (MOH) Singapore were held and the Director of Medical Services advised the association to develop self-regulation along the lines of the profession in UK and Hong Kong. Through a consultative process, a self-regulation document (SRD) was developed, ratified by membership and adopted in 2002.

The association now maintains a professional register, in the absence of a government register, which serves the public interest, as well as establishing greater professional credibility, by ensuring internationally recognised standards of chiropractic training, adherence to a strict code of professional ethics and a high standard of professional practice.

The association has also been able to organize continuing education seminars on an annual basis since 2004, when we were fortunate to have Prof. Thomas Bergmann, Northwestern Health Sciences University - Northwestern College of Chiropractic noted author and lecturer here to present a Chiropractic Technique seminar in conjunction with the World Federation of Chiropractic Annual Council meetings held in Singapore that year.

Subsequently, we have organized seminars:

2005 - Dr. Keith Overland, Post-graduate Faculty University of Bridgeport School of Chiropractic, seminar on sports chiropractic,

2006 - Dr. Richard Brown, Consultant Chiropractor, seminar on Risk Management

2007 - Dr. Navine Haworth, Associate lecturer, RMIT School of Chiropractic, seminar on Paediatrics

2008 - Dr. Warren Hammer, Post-graduate faculty National University of Health Science - National Chiropractic College, seminar on soft tissue techniques

Further growth of the profession and the introduction of some controversial business practice models from USA and Australia led the association to begin a process of revision of the SRD in 2005. This was done consultatively, however, there were some points that all parties could not agree upon, so that in 2006, a consultant from UK, Dr. Richard Brown, who has expertise in standards of practice, was engaged to assist in the revamp through a one-week series of workshops.

Based on Dr. Brown's recommendations and through a series of meetings of the association membership over a one-year period, a revision of the 2002 Self Regulation Document was ratified by membership in December 2007. This is posted on the association's website. Also ratified in December 2007 was the requirement for Continuing Professional Development that have to be satisfied for renewal of membership.

The new association regulations have strict rules for the sale of pre-paid treatment packages and public spinal screenings. As a consequence, because of their business practices, several qualified chiropractors were not eligible or chose not to renew their memberships. The remaining core of doctors in the association remains committed to the principal that the interests of the patient being paramount.