SINGAPORE - A dentist who was charged with making false Medisave claims for treatment that were not done will soon be unable to make such claims on behalf of his patients for dental treatment and surgical procedures.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has suspended the Medisave approval of Dr Andy Joshua Warren, the ministry said on Wednesday (Dec 4).
The suspension will start on Dec 20 until the conclusion of criminal proceedings, including any appeals, against Dr Warren, the MOH said in a statement on Wednesday (Dec 4).
Dr Warren, 34, and Dr Teo Eu Gene, 36, were charged in October with cheating the Community Health Assist Scheme.
They were charged with cheating and falsifying accounts between August 2014 and October 2015, when they were working at Phoenix Dental Surgery clinics.
Dr Warren's charges include cheating the Central Provident Fund by making false Medisave claims for treatment that were not done.
At the time of the offence, Dr Warren was practising under the name of Dr Ng Yu Ming. He changed his name with a deed poll in 2017.
The two dentists are accused of making false claims involving 23 patients for sums totalling more than $54,000.
Both offences - cheating and falsifying records - carry penalties of a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine. They are out on bail of $20,000 each.
Dr Warren was charged in court on Oct 18, and MOH said it informed him of the ministry's intention to suspend his Medisave approval on the same day.
The ministry said it will also refer the matter to the Singapore Dental Council, given its severity.
When Dr Warren is suspended from making Medisave claims, he can continue to provide dental treatment as long as his registration with and his practising certificate issued by the Singapore Dental Council remain valid, MOH said.
MOH said that it closely monitors clinics' Medisave claims and the majority of clinics and practitioners comply with its guidelines.
The ministry added that it takes a serious view of false Medisave claims and will take action when non-compliance is found.
"We also remind healthcare professionals to uphold a high standard of professionalism and adhere to their ethical code and ethical guidelines," the ministry said.
It also urged patients to ask their doctors and dentists if they have any questions about their bills.
Members of the public who come across any suspicious or unusual Medisave claims made for them can contact MOH on 1800-255-4122.