Doctor censured over false monetary claims

PHOTO: Doctor censured over false monetary claims

SINGAPORE - A doctor has been censured for making false claims for monetary compensation for two night-call duties which he did not perform, said the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) yesterday.

Dr Ho Mien, 35, had "sold" two night-call duties in 2008, when he was a house officer at the Singapore General Hospital's Division of Medicine.

An SMC report detailed how Dr Ho had been rostered to perform two night-call duties - on March 11 and 15 that year - but arranged for his colleague to take his place instead. He then submitted monetary claims amounting to $260 for both duties and handed over the full sum to the colleague.

The chairman of the House Officer Training Committee lodged a formal complaint about Dr Ho's conduct with the SMC on Oct 2, 2008.

During the inquiry, Dr Ho said that he was "facing personal problems which affected his ability to perform night calls".

He added that what he did was a "common, accepted practice to swop or sell night calls".

The council responded that such a practice was not accepted or authorised, and cannot be condoned.

It added that Dr Ho's "conduct was not a trivial matter, and that, if left unchecked, such conduct would have a detrimental effect on the training of doctors".

While Dr Ho did not receive monetary gains, this did not "exonerate him from the misconduct".

The council added that it was concerned that the wrong message would be sent to doctors undergoing training if it were to condone his actions.

As the incidents took place early in Dr Ho's career, the council was reluctant to "impose financial hardship on him".

For more my paper stories click here.