Bedok doctor suspended for 12 months for selling cough syrup to addicts

Dr Liew Kert Chian, who was practicing at Temasek Clinic & Surgery in Bedok, was suspended for 12 months for supplying cough syrup to addicts over nine months.
Dr Liew Kert Chian, who was practicing at Temasek Clinic & Surgery in Bedok, was suspended for 12 months for supplying cough syrup to addicts over nine months. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - A general practitioner was suspended for 12 months for supplying cough syrup to addicts over nine months.

Dr Liew Kert Chian, 46, was practising at Temasek Clinic & Surgery in Bedok when he supplied 90ml cough syrup bottles to over 30 addicts at $22 each.

He did this without making a prescription and left no records of the sale.

He was also ordered to pay a penalty of $5,000 by the Singapore Medical Council's (SMC) Disciplinary Tribunal.

The sales were made between Jan 2 and Oct 5, 2011.

In a press release on Friday (April 1), the SMC said that a total of 73 canisters of cough syrup - each 3,800ml - were unaccounted for.

"This was not a case of mere inadvertence or inexperience on the part of Dr Liew in failing to keep proper records," said the council.

He had first recorded the sale in pencil on the addicts' treatment cards, then had then erased.

"By profiting from his patients' addiction instead of properly treating them for their addiction, Dr Liew had recklessly disregarded the potential harm that could be caused to these patients," the SMC said .

His 12-month suspension took effect on March 19 and will run to March 18 next year.