'I told him to stop': CGH patient accuses doctor of ignoring him when conducting 'painful' penis examination

'I told him to stop': CGH patient accuses doctor of ignoring him when conducting 'painful' penis examination
The patient at Changi General Hospital shared that the pain from the medical examination lasted for a few hours.
PHOTO: AsiaOne, The Straits Times file

This man's recent medical examination at Changi General Hospital (CGH) was brief, but it was the most painful minute he has ever experienced.

But even amidst cries of discomfort, the doctor continued pulling down the foreskin of the patient's penis to "check for sexually-transmitted diseases (STD)".

In an interview with AsiaOne on Wednesday (Jan 25), the 39-year-old man, who declined to reveal his identity, shared that he was at CGH a week ago.

He had made an appointment there after realising that it would take him up to 20 seconds to pass urine.

"The doctor told me to lie down on the bed to examine me. He then pressed the side of my penis and asked if I felt pain. I said no," the recent patient at CGH said.

The consultation was going well, according to the man, who works in the security industry.

But he felt uncomfortable when the doctor pulled the foreskin of his penis.

Describing the pain he felt at that time, the man recounted: "I shouted loudly and asked what he was doing.

"When I told him to stop, he ignored me and continued pulling my penis."

'Nothing else I can do'

Even though the medical examination was barely a minute, the man shared that the pain lasted for a few hours even when he had his underwear on.

Adding that he went to a clinic near his home in Bedok the next day (Jan 19) for a second opinion, the man said: "the general practitioner asked 'why did the CGH doctor pull your foreskin so hard?'"

Concerned that he would be referred to the same doctor for his future appointments in CGH, this subsidised patient shared that he wanted to lodge a police report.

But officers at the neighbourhood police centre advised him to raise the issue through the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) instead, he added.

After the man sent an email to CGH with a complaint letter, the hospital wrote back to apologise for his experience there.

In a reply to the man that was seen by AsiaOne, CGH said: "I will highlight your feedback to the doctor and department head to look into. We'll also look into your request to see another doctor in your next appointment." 

Speaking to AsiaOne, the man confirmed that CGH has assured him on Wednesday (Jan 25) that he would not be seeing the same doctor for future consultations.

While he's satisfied with the outcome, the man said: "there's nothing else I can do".

The man still has questions over the necessity of his "painful" medical examination.

He pointed out that none of the doctors at other medical institutions he consulted prior to the CGH visit had pulled the foreskin of his penis.

When asked by AsiaOne to comment on the incident, CGH said: "Given the revealing comments that have been tagged to the original post, out of consideration for the person who posted it, we would like to decline your invitation for comment.

"Thank you for approaching us, we do appreciate being given the opportunity."

SMC: Doctors must be sensitive to any discomfort or hesitancy

Doctors who are examining intimate parts of the patient's body must explain the need to do so and be sensitive to any discomfort or hesitancy, according to SMC's Ethical Code and Guidelines.

This is critical to uphold the trust that patients and the community repose in doctors, SMC said.

"You must ensure that during clinical examination, your approach would leave reasonable patients feeling safe, secure and comfortable in your presence."

Under "consent" of the code, SMC states that doctors must also respect patients' right to refuse consent for tests, treatments or procedures, except when it is evident that their judgment is impaired or their mental capacity so diminished that they cannot make choices about their own care.

Patients who have complaints about the medical care received should raise it to the specific healthcare provider, according to guidelines from the Ministry of Health.

Typically, patients undergoing an STD screening can expect a blood test and a physical examination by the doctor.  This can include both oral and genital swabs to check for STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

ALSO READ: Woman’s anger over topless hospital X-ray by male doctor who got a week suspension starts heated debate in China and her post gets 130 million views


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