Dentist, serving jail term for defrauding CPF Board, struck off dental register

Dentist Steven Ang Kiam Hau duped the Central Provident Fund Board into disbursing $434,241 from 14 patients' Medisave accounts.
Dentist Steven Ang Kiam Hau duped the Central Provident Fund Board into disbursing $434,241 from 14 patients' Medisave accounts.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Dentist Steven Ang Kiam Hau, who is still serving a jail term for defrauding the Central Provident Fund Board, will be struck off the Register on Friday (Sept 6).

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

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

He was sentenced to 30 months' jail and started 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 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 the full-time dentists 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 account.

Medisave imposes a cap on 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 carried out.

In pleading for a lighter sentence, Ang's lawyer argued that he 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 that he was driven by profit.

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

They also found that there was no evidence that 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 he refunded her the money.

A Ministry of Health audit could not find supporting evidence that Ang had performed 11 implants for her and another 11 for her husband in 2014.