Aesthetic clinic will not be able to survive for much longer if it cannot reopen

Note: The following was penned by Dr Siew Tuck Wah, medical director and founder of Radium Medical Aesthetics

This morning, we were informed by the Ministry of Health that aesthetic clinics CANNOT resume operations after the circuit breaker ends on 1 June 2020. The news came as a heavy blow. 2 months with no income and continued overheads was a struggle. But this third month is going to be much worse.

The first 2 months of circuit breaker saw businesses receiving help in the form of rental rebates from landlords, and wage support schemes initiated by the government. A third month of not operating will mean we have to continue with zero revenue, but without any financial help. Running costs such as rental, manpower, loans all add up to $160,000 - $180,000 a month for an aesthetic clinic like mine. Then there are the consumables, such as toxins, fillers and threads, some of which do not possess long shelf lives. The value of consumables that have expired or are close to expiry already amount to more than $10,000. The common misconception is that aesthetic clinics make a lot of money. In fact, most of the revenue go into purchasing consumables, wages, rental and upgrading of machines in a rapidly evolving field, where customers are always embracing newer, better technology.

As doctors, we entirely understand the need for social distancing. Indeed, a 2-month lockdown is necessary to stem the spread of Covid-19. But now, I cannot help but feel that these harsh measures imposed on aesthetic clinics from the ministry are driven by more than just public health considerations.

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