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09 Mar 2019
Ministry of Health
Negative View - 275
Excessive fines imposed by the Singapore Medical Council

The Singapore Medical Council is geting out of hand. 

It imposed a fine of $100,000 on a doctor for failing to inform the patient on the possible side effect of a common injection. Click here.

It imposed a fine of $50,000 on a doctor for giving private information to the wrong person. Click here.

In both cases, it was clear that the doctor had acted properly and the mistake was an oversight. Why was such a large fine being imposed?

The fines imposed by the Council were clearly excessive. Two separate petitions were organized by the doctors against the excessive fines. There were clearly out of proportion to the mistake.

Does the Council or the disciplinary committee who decide on the fines know that $50,000 or $100,000 is a lot of money for most people. It may not be a lot for the ministers and top civil servants who earn many times more in a year.

Who are the members of the Singapore Medical Council? Who were the people appointed into the disciplinary committee that made these questionable decision?

Many people might be mistaken that the Council is elected by the doctors. That is not the case. 

The Singapore Medical Council is a statutory board under the Ministry of Health. According to the law, the council comprise of the Director of Medical Services and a majority of doctors appointed by the minister for health and 12 members elected by the doctors.

I get the impression that the Council acts largely on the direction of the minister for health or his civil servants. I would consider the heavy penalties to reflect the bad judgment of the minister.  

I am worried for the future of Singapore. Many decisions made by the people in power are grotesque.

Tan Kin Lian


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