Liposuction clinic fined $60,000 for breaking law over patient's death

Dr Jim Wong, 34, a co-owner of Reves Clinic. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Dr Jim Wong, 34, a co-owner of Reves Clinic. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Dr Zhu Xiu Chun, also known as Dr Myint Myint Kyi, 48, a co-owner of Reves Clinic. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Dr Zhu Xiu Chun, also known as Dr Myint Myint Kyi, 48, a co-owner of Reves Clinic. -- ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Reves Clinic and its two doctors involved in the 2009 death of a patient following liposuction treatment were fined on Monday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 
Reves Clinic and its two doctors involved in the 2009 death of a patient following liposuction treatment were fined on Monday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE 

SINGAPORE - A clinic and the two doctors involved in the 2009 death of a patient following liposuction treatment were fined on Monday.

Reves Clinic was fined a total of $60,000 after pleading guilty through its director, Dr Wong Meng Hang, to six charges of not carrying out proper procedures.

Dr Wong, 38, was fined a total of $26,000 on eight charges while Dr Zhu Xiu Chun alias Myint Myint Kyi, 51, was fined $8,000 on two charges.

Reves had allowed Dr Wong and Dr Zhu to perform liposuction without the presence of a registered nurse or an assistant with the relevant training and experience in an operating theatre at its premises at International Building in Orchard Road. The clinic has since been renamed Yume Aesthetic & Medical Clinic.

Wong, licensee and clinic manager of TLC@Orchard Clinic at Far East Shopping Centre, pleaded guilty to charges of failing to give a seven-day cooling off period to patients who underwent liposuction by collecting deposits for the procedure. During the cooling off period, no payment should be collected and treatment cannot be carried out.

The two of them were working in TLC at the time. The clinic stopped operations in September 2009. Wong also failed to obtain patient feedback three months after the treatment.

Dr Zhu admitted to performing liposuction on a patient within a week after first consultation, and failing to obtain a post-discharge feedback from a patient who underwent liposuction at TLC. The clinic has closed.

The court heard that Dr Zhu reported to the Ministry of Health a case of a 44-year-old patient who had collapsed after a liposuction procedure performed by Dr Wong on Dec 30, 2009. The patient, Mr Franklin Heng, head of a property firm, was sent to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

He died from accidental punctures to his intestines during the procedure. Both Dr Wong and Dr Zhu are facing claims of more than $1 million from the estate of the victim, who was divorced with two young children.

Twelve other charges each against Reves and Wong, and three against Zhu were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Each defendant could have been fined up to $20,000 and/or jailed for up to two years on each charge.

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