Medical council censures doctor on drug rap

PHOTO: Medical council censures doctor on drug rap

A doctor was censured by the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) yesterday for possessing an illegal drug.

General practitioner Mervin Lim, 37, was also ordered to pay the cost of the disciplinary tribunal inquiry.

The ruling stemmed from Dr Lim's conviction in February 2011 for possessing 0.37g of methamphetamine - more commonly known as Ice - and utensils used for drug consumption.

Sentenced to a year in jail, he was released after eight months for good behaviour. He was also detained in the Drug Rehabilitation Unit for four months prior to conviction.

After his release from jail in October 2011, Dr Lim was required to undergo weekly urine tests at the Central Narcotics Bureau for 12 months.

Dr Lim asked the SMC tribunal, which could impose a fine or suspend him from practising, for leniency.

He said he had committed the act during a period when he was "under substantial stress... in combining his work duties and his studies", and was now remorseful.

He also submitted two testimonials from previous employers to the SMC in support of his mitigation plea.

Dr Lim is now able to continue practising.

The SMC said in a statement yesterday that the tribunal's sentence was mitigated by several factors, including his early plea of guilt and the fact that the offence was committed "on the spur of the moment, during a momentary lapse of judgment".

The disciplinary tribunal also took into consideration that Dr Lim had been effectively stopped from practising for a year during his detention and jail term.

This article was published on May 6 in The Straits Times.Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.