Useful PHMC Compliant Copywriting for Medical Practices

There are a lot of advertising restrictions for companies in the medical industry, as they will need to follow Private Hospital Medical Clinic (PHMC) digital marketing guidelines.

Under the PHMC guidelines, advertising companies are unable to:

  • Show before/after
  • Run promotional campaigns
  • Say things that are not justifiable etc

But does it mean that it's impossible for doctors and medical practices to advertise? Not at all.

Before I run through useful PHMC-compliant copywriting for medical practices, let's go through the fundamentals.

The differentiating factor

Before we learn about what type of copy and offer we can use, let's go back to the fundamental reasons why consumers choose to buy from a company over the others:

  • They buy from people they trust.
  • They buy from people they like.
  • Some are willing to pay more for a service/product as long as you can show them that your service/product works very well.
  • They buy because they want to associate themselves to a company/product; it forms part of their identity.
  • So, while it's true that PHMC guidelines limits our ability to come up with more persuasive advertising campaigns, it's also true that consumers in the medical industry have the same consumer psychology as consumers in other industries.

Now that we're clear about this, it's easier for us to think of ways to convince consumers in the medical industry using PHMC compliant copywriting.

Useful PHMC-compliant copywriting for Medical Practices

Below consists of some concepts we can use in our ad copies and offers, but it's not an exhaustive list.

I'm not really going to tell you what words you can use, because that's too limited and tactical. It's more effective to show you what concepts you can apply.

1. Adopt a consultative approach

What do you, as a medical professional, do when you see patients? Ask questions.

Similarly, try adopting that approach in your advertising concepts.

Don't go straight into a sales pitch. Instead, qualify the prospects by asking a series of targeted questions in your ad copy and landing pages.

Advertising is about crafting a message for the right people, at the right time. If your treatment differs for males and females, consider asking gender-based questions from the get go.

phmc copywriting

Another way would be to have an in-depth form to filter out genuine patients and high quality leads.

Instead of using a generic "Book Now" Call-To-Action (CTA) button, consider using "Book a suitability treatment". This intrigues people and makes them want to find out more.

2. Make the doctor a superstar

Since most clinics provide similar treatments that are not proprietary to them, we have to differentiate our offering by making the doctor the superstar of the show. The doctor is the Unique Selling Point (USP).

In this age of idolatry, superstars hold incredible persuasive powers. How do doctors send superstar signals?

  • Superstars know other superstars. eg, take photos with influencers/celebrities.
  • They have a decent number of followers.
  • Superstars are experts at one thing.
  • Have a public presence by appearing in the media, conferences and lectures.
  • Superstars have a lot of achievements. They write books, have X years in a well known organisation (eg hospital), etc.

3. Show that the clinic/doctor cares

Has the doctor done any CSR activities? Show it. This helps to build trust/ likability with consumers.

For example, aside from clinical work, Dr Chin is an active volunteer and educator. He also volunteers his services at the Ang Mo Kio Community Hospital and in the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) specialist project in Cambodia.

phmc copywriting

Does your clinic offer an after-service package or philosophy? How do you go the extra mile after a treatment/surgery? Highlight it in your website, that will allow you to stand out from your competitors.

4. Position your offering as a scarce offer

Tap onto the fear of missing out by implying scarcity.

Instead of a generic "Book your appointment now" CTA button, use "Request for an appointment". The former suggests that you are available 24/7, whereas the latter implies that there is a waiting list.

phmc copywriting

5. Debunk common myths

When doctors debunk a common myth, consumers will see these doctors as the expert. Debunking myths shows expertise, and deep industry knowledge.

phmc copywriting

6. Connect with symbols that signal expertise

Symbols and badges associated with industry accreditation will position you as an expert.

For example, if a particular aesthetics machine you are using has won industry accreditation, put it up! This will help to build credibility as patients know that they are paying for quality service.

phmc copywriting

7. Connect with locations

Convenience matters. Nobody likes to travel out of the way if there is an accessible alternative.

Would you go for a clinic that has 10 outlets in Singapore, or a clinic that only has one outlet? Most would probably opt for the former.


  • Multiple outlets mean that there is a high chance that there is one location that is closer to you, which makes travelling more convenient.
  • Having more outlets also means that the clinic is doing well. The practice has more patients, higher demand, and is therefore able to have multiple outlets.

So if you own a medical practice that has multiple outlets, be sure to specify it.

phmc copywriting

However, that doesn't mean that clinics with a single outlet are on the losing end.

Here are some ways single clinics can advertise their locations:

  • 5 minutes walk from the nearest MRT
  • Direct bus from XYZ station
  • Situated right next to XYZ shopping mall

8. Specialised clinic/doctor

Specialisation is the easiest way to differentiate yourself from most of your competitors. Most competitors will say they can do from a - z.

Let's compare two dentist.

  • Dentist A specialises in doing Invisalign.
  • Dentist B does Invisalign, along with teeth whitening and teeth polishing.

Which dentist are you more likely to choose if you need Invisalign done?

Probably dentist A.

Highlight your key specialisation to stand out from your competitors.


I hope that this article has helped you to gain a better understanding on how you can create amazing ads with PHMC compliant copywriting.

If you are looking for more ideas on how to market your medical practice, check out our article on the best digital marketing practices for doctors.

Otherwise, you may want to reach out to digital marketing companies in Singapore such as Heroes of Digital. With over half a decade of experience, we are the leading Singapore digital marketing agency for medical practices.

Get your free consultation today!

Xavier Tan
Xavier is the Co-Founder of Heroes of Digital. He started social media marketing and SEM long before it became popular in Singapore. His passion is in helping businesses grow through effective lead generation. He has overseen campaigns for Amara Hotel, NTU, Marina Bay, L'Oreal, and 100+ SMEs.

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