SMC to ask Court of Three Judges to quash conviction against doctor fined $50,000 by disciplinary tribunal

Dr Soo Shuenn Chiang, a psychiatrist at the National University Hospital, had been charged for giving a memo on a patient's medical condition to her brother, who posed as her husband.
Dr Soo Shuenn Chiang, a psychiatrist at the National University Hospital, had been charged for giving a memo on a patient's medical condition to her brother, who posed as her husband.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Medical Council will apply to the Court of Three Judges to quash a conviction and $50,000 fine against a psychiatrist for providing information on his patient to a man claiming to be her husband.

The medical watchdog had previously said it would ask the court to review the judgment by a disciplinary tribunal against Dr Soo Shuenn Chiang.

In a statement on Tuesday (May 21), the council said new information it received raises doubts on what happened, and so it is taking this step "in the interest of justice".

Dr Soo, a psychiatrist at the National University Hospital, was charged with offences related to giving a memo on a patient's medical condition to her brother, who posed as her husband.

The patient filed a complaint with the SMC, saying her brother used the memo provided by the doctor to get a protection order against her at a Family Court.

Dr Soo had pleaded guilty to not verifying who the man was.

The disciplinary tribunal said a reasonable and competent doctor would have obtained the man's name and identity card number, and checked it against the patient's records.

 
 

The decision resulted in an online petition that garnered thousands of signatures, and which argued that Dr Soo was trying to help the patient, whom the caller had said was suicidal.

Since then, the patient's brother has put online his version of what happened. He said in his Facebook post that while he was the man who spoke to the doctor, the patient's husband was with him and agreed with what he was doing.

The council then approached both the patient's brother and husband for their statements.

In its statement on Tuesday, the council said: "These statements were not obtained by the Complaints Committee prior to its referral of the patient's complaint against Dr Soo for a formal inquiry by a disciplinary tribunal."

The council said it will be providing the court with the new information in its application to have the conviction set aside.