Chia Yang Pong v Singapore Medical Council

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
JudgeChao Hick Tin JA
Judgment Date31 May 2004
Neutral Citation[2004] SGHC 111
Citation[2004] SGHC 111
Subject MatterAppeal against findings of Disciplinary Committee of Singapore Medical Council,Section 45(13) Medical Registration Act (Cap 174, 1998 Rev Ed),Disciplinary proceedings,Courts and Jurisdiction,Whether Disciplinary Committee empowered to impose fine exceeding $10,000,Whether empowered to impose financial penalty on medical practitioner in addition to ordering his name be removed from the Register of Medical Practitioners,Appeals,Section 45(2)(d) Medical Registration Act (Cap 174, 1998 Rev Ed),Administrative Law,Sections 45(1), 45(2) Medical Registration Act (Cap 174, 1998 Rev Ed),Medical practitioner fined $65,000 on 80 counts of professional misconduct,Disciplinary Committee of Singapore Medical Council,Principles to be applied
Defendant CounselPhilip Fong and Chang Man Phing (Harry Elias Partnership)
Published date03 June 2004
Plaintiff CounselMyint Soe and Deepak Raja (Myint Soe and Selvaraj)
Docket NumberOriginating Motion No 11 of 2004
Date31 May 2004

31 May 2004

Tan Lee Meng J (delivering the judgment of the court):

1 The appellant, Dr Chia Yang Pong (“Dr Chia”), a medical doctor, appealed against the decision of the Disciplinary Committee of the Singapore Medical Council (“SMC”) to remove his name from the Register of Medical Practitioners and to fine him $65,000 for professional misconduct. We allowed the appeal in part by reducing the fine to $10,000 and now give the reasons for our decision.

Background

2 Dr Chia was the sole licensee of a chain of seven medical clinics, known as Grace Polyclinic. In November 2002, an inspection team from the Ministry of Health called at all the branches of Grace Polyclinic and inspected the clinical cards of their patients. The investigations revealed that benzodiazepines had been improperly prescribed for quite a number of patients. Dr Chia was summoned to appear before a disciplinary committee of the SMC (“the Disciplinary Committee”) to answer charges relating to his failure to act with due care in the management of 80 patients who had been prescribed benzodiazepines without a proper record of their symptoms and condition. Such proper records would have enabled him or his colleagues at Grace Polyclinic to properly assess the medical condition of the patients over the periods of treatment.

3 At a hearing of the Disciplinary Committee on 26 February 2004, Dr Chia faced 80 charges of professional misconduct. He pleaded guilty and made submissions in mitigation. The Disciplinary Committee then convicted him of all the charges under s 45(1)(d) of the Medical Registration Act (Cap 174, 1998 Rev Ed) and made the following orders:

Order 1 - That his name be removed from the Register of Medical Practitioners with effect from 29 March 2004;

Order 2 - That he be fined $1,000 per charge on 65 of the 80 charges against him;

Order 3 - That he be censured; and

Order 4 - That he pay the costs and expenses of the proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee, including the costs of the solicitors for the SMC and the Legal Assessor.

4 Dr Chia, who was dissatisfied with the first two orders, relied on s 45(12) of the Medical Registration Act to lodge his appeal to the High Court. Section 45(12) of the said Act requires such an appeal to heard by a Court of Three Judges.

The appeal

5 Dr Chia contended that the Disciplinary Committee erred on three counts. Firstly, he claimed that the sentence imposed on him was manifestly excessive and that his name should not have been removed from the Register of Medical Practitioners. Secondly, he asserted that if his name was to be removed from the Register of Medical Practitioners, he should not have been fined as well. Thirdly, he submitted that the fine of...

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9 cases
  • Lim Mey Lee Susan v Singapore Medical Council
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 26 May 2011
  • Shorvon Simon v Singapore Medical Council
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 17 October 2005
    ...fining him $5,000 on each charge. Subsequently, and in response to the High Court ruling in Chia Yang Pong v Singapore Medical Council [2004] 3 SLR 151, the SMC applied to court for the total sum of the fines imposed on the appellant to be limited to $10,000. The court duly allowed the The ......
  • Low Cze Hong v Singapore Medical Council
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 26 May 2008
    ...the Act mirrors the approach under the common law. This court in Tan Sek Ho ([24] supra) and Chia Yang Pong v Singapore Medical Council [2004] 3 SLR 151 has accepted the approach adopted by Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone LC in Julius Libman v General Medical Council [1972] AC 217. Lord Hail......
  • Fong Chee Keong v Professional Engineers Board, Singapore
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 5 April 2016
    ...that the evidence has been misread. This approach had also been accepted by the Court in Chia Yang Pong v Singapore Medical Council [2004] 3 SLR(R) 151 at [7]. Furthermore, in considering an appeal, a court would be slow to interfere with the findings of a disciplinary committee as the latt......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Administrative and Constitutional Law
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review Nbr. 2004, December 2004
    • 1 December 2004
    ...Registration Act (Cap 174, 1998 Rev Ed) and the Accountants Act (Cap 2, 2001 Rev Ed) in Chia Yang Pong v Singapore Medical Council[2004] 3 SLR 151 and Ling Uk Choon v Public Accountants Board[2004] 3 SLR 517 respectively. Other issues examined included the limits to judicial review as not e......

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