Doctor suspended for prescribing hypnotic drugs

PHOTO: Doctor suspended for prescribing hypnotic drugs

SINGAPORE - A general practitioner (GP) was suspended for three months by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) for prescribing codeine-containing cough mixtures and hypnotic drugs to patients.

Dr Khaw Chin Choon, 46, of Ren Medical Clinic at Yishun Ave 5 was also charged for failing to refer patients to specialists such as psychiatrists for further or joint management, a local news outlet reported.

He was also charge for not advising the patient of the risk of cross tolerance from the two prescriptions.

Dr Khaw pleaded guilty to a total of nine charges. Four other similar charges were taken into consideration.

Disciplinary proceedings were launched against the doctor on September 30 after a complaint was lodged by the Ministry of Health in 2008.

According to the Committee, the prolonged usage of codeine-containing medications and/or hypnotic drugs can be addictive and may cause harm to patients.

As such, improper prescription is inappropriate, unprofessional, and will be dealt with severely, which may include suspension.

SMC has also ordered Dr Khaw to submit a written undertaking that he will not engage in similar conduct.

His suspension took effect from Oct 31, 2011.