Dentist who defrauded CPF Board to be struck off dental register

Dentist Steven Ang Kiam Hau, who is still serving a jail term for defrauding the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, will be struck off the Register of Dentists tomorrow.

He will no longer be able to practise after he is released from prison.

The doctor from Smile Division Dental Surgeons @ Orchard duped the board into disbursing $434,241 from 14 patients' Medisave accounts.

He was sentenced to 30 months jail and began serving the term on Aug 17 last year.

The Singapore Dental Council (SDC) began a hearing into his case on July 25 and Aug 6 this year.

Ang, who was represented by his lawyer at the hearing, pleaded guilty to all five charges.

The council's disciplinary committee said the extent of his dishonesty was "egregious because it was calculated and carried out repeatedly and done primarily for profit".

It added that any lower penalty "would seriously impinge on the reputation of the profession".

The dental chain Ang worked for had nine clinics and paid full-time dentists their commission based on a percentage of fees they charged patients, after taking into account incidental costs for the treatments.

 
 
 

Ang offered patients "financial packages" where all or almost all payment would be from their Medisave accounts.

There is a cap on Medisave withdrawals for various dental treatments.

To circumvent this, Ang got patients to sign several Medisave claim forms and submitted them on their behalf, including on days when no treatments were done.

The offences took place between 2011 and 2013.

In pleading for a lighter sentence, Ang's lawyer argued that Ang started the scam for altruistic reasons - to help poor patients.

Later, it was extended to patients who were not poor.

Ang's lawyer argued that patients were not cheated as they were aware of what was going on.

The committee did not accept the mitigation, saying Ang had been driven by profit.

It described him as the architect of the scam designed "to be attractive to his patients by reducing the costs of the treatments to below what the market charged".

It also found no evidence the treatments were even necessary.

Ang was suspended by the SDC in April last year, following a complaint from a patient who changed her mind about getting four implants that would have cost $22,100.

She filed the complaint even though Ang refunded her the money.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2019, with the headline 'Dentist who defrauded CPF Board to be struck off dental register'. Print Edition | Subscribe