Doctor fined and suspended for lax prescription of sleeping pills

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has taken action against another doctor for lax prescription of hypnotics.

It filed a complaint with the Singapore Medical Council (SMC), the medical professional watchdog, against Dr Boon Seng Poh, 46.

The SMC said yesterday that it has suspended Dr Boon for three months starting April 26; fined him $5,000, got him to promise not to repeat the offence, and had him pay the cost of the hearing.

Dr Boon had pleaded guilty to 15 out of 18 charges of inappropriate prescription of drugs such as Eremin 5 and Lexotan.

In making its decision, the disciplinary tribunal took into account Dr Boon's remorse which it said "was immediate and sincere".

His patients also provided testimonials on his being a "caring doctor".

The tribunal said it does not understand Dr Boon's explanation that there is little point in telling working people faced with stress that they must stop taking sleeping pills.

It added that all doctors have to follow the guidelines set out by the SMC.