Disciplinary actions taken against TCM physician and acupuncturist

Published: 8:13 PM, July 15, 2015

SINGAPORE – A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) acupuncturist, who improperly diagnosed a patient based on an X-ray when she did not have the training to do so, has been fined S$5,000 and censured by the TCM Practitioners Board.

Another TCM physician who prescribed and dispensed a western medicine, breaching the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Act, has been suspended for a month, fined S$4,000 and censured.

The TCM Practitioners Board today (July 15) issued statements to highlight the disciplinary actions meted out against the two practitioners: Ms Jin Jinhua from Raffles Chinese Medicine and Mr Koh Chew Kai from Choon Chiang Tong Medical Hall.

In Ms Jin’s case, a patient had lodged a complaint for misdiagnosis after she found out that a fracture on her ankle at been diagnosed as a sprain by Ms Jin, who reviewed an X-ray taken of the ankle without the radiologist’s report.

An investigation committee inquiry was conducted and Ms Jin was found to have “acted improperly, negligently and beyond her permitted area of practice and expertise when she rendered treatment to the Complainant”, the Board said.

It was also found that the diagnosis and treatment by Ms Jin was “not generally accepted TCM treatments and fell short of the standard” set out in the Ethical Code.

In the case of Mr Koh, the Health Science Authority (HSA) had forwarded a complaint to the TCM Practitioners Board that Mr Koh had prescribed and dispensed “U O Cream”, a registered western medicine to a patient for treatment of psoriasis.

An investigation committee inquiry found that he had breached the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Act and the Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines for TCM Practitioners when he prescribed and dispensed “U O Cream”, a registered western medicine.

“In spite of the Board’s Notice and Warning on 20 May 2005 to all TCM practitioners that they are not allowed to and should not prescribe western medicines or Chinese medicines mixed with western medicines, Koh had prescribed and dispensed the ‘U O Cream’, a registered western medicine (SIN8347P) to his patient,” said the Board.

As such, Mr Koh’s registration was a TCM physician and acupuncturist was suspended for a month starting July 1, in addition to a fine and censure. He was also directed to give a written undertaking that he will not prescribe and/or dispense western medicine again.

Both Mr Koh and Ms Jin were ordered to pay the costs and expenses of incidental to the inquiries conducted against them.