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SINGAPORE: SMC reviews own processes

In light of the criticism received from the Court of Appeal over its handling of the Dr Low Chai Ling case, the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) has announced that a Review Committee will investigate its disciplinary procedures in order to explore ways of improving the system.

The Review Committee will look into the administrative processes and develop more efficient and better ways to manage the disciplinary process
A press release issued by the SMC said: “The SMC will appoint a Review Committee chaired by a senior doctor assisted by a senior legal practitioner and comprising senior doctors and other legal practitioners to optimise the disciplinary processes. The Review Committee will look into the administrative processes and develop more efficient and better ways to manage the disciplinary process and mitigate the increase in time and expense for disciplinary proceedings.”

The SMC was criticised for using vague wording in laying out its charges against Dr Low, and for failing to obtain copies of her medical records. The Court of Appeal described the SMC’s charges as “legally embarrassing”.

www.healthprofessionals.gov.sg

SINGAPORE: Personal Data Protection Bill

The Personal Data Protection Bill has been introduced in the Singapore parliament.

The purpose of the legislation is to govern the collection, use and disclosure of personal data by organisations, and to establish the Personal Data Protection Commission and a “Do Not Call Register”.

www.parliament.gov.sg  

SINGAPORE: Voluntary Sterilization (Amendment) Bill

The Voluntary Sterilization (Amendment) Bill has been introduced in the Singapore parliament. It amends the Voluntary Sterilization Act and sets out the conditions under which a registered medical practitioner may carry out treatment for sterilisation.

www.parliament.gov.sg

SINGAPORE: SMC Annual Report

The SMC has published its Annual Report for 2011. The total number of complaints against doctors received by the SMC during 2011 was 153 (152 in 2010). However the number of complaints alleging professional negligence and competence was 96, compared to 44 received in 2010.

The number of complaints alleging professional negligence and competence was 96, compared to 44 received in 2010

Other complaints related to rudeness, attitude and communication issues (23), false or misleading certification (10) and inappropriate treatment (5). The number of doctors practising in Singapore was 10,057, an increase of 7.6% over the previous year.

www.healthprofessionals.gov.sg

MALAYSIA: Private solution to public shortage

Nursing graduates who hold private nursing diplomas have been offered employment in government clinics and hospitals by the Health Ministry.

The move was due to start in mid-December and was set to see 1,681 diploma holders interviewed for positions across 85 centres all over the country.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said: “The government has decided to overcome the unemployment faced by graduates from private institutions of higher learning by taking in more nurses into the ministry, to simultaneously resolve the shortage in government clinics and hospitals.”

www.themalaysianinsider.com

The government will overcome the unemployment faced by graduates from private institutions of higher learning by taking in more nurses

HONG KONG: HKMA renews regulation call

Doctors in Hong Kong have been reminded to avoid professionally associating themselves with non-qualified individuals, following a botched blood transfusion in a cosmetic clinic last year.

The Hong Kong Medical Association (HKMA) issued the reminder – which is grounded in sections 17, 18 and 20 of the Medical Council of Hong Kong’s Code of Professional Conduct – and also called on the government to regulate all healthcare institutions and medical equipment.

The Hong Kong Medical Association called on the government to regulate all healthcare institutions and medical equipment

In a press release issued in October, the HKMA said: “We strongly urge the government to legislate and regulate institutions that claim to provide ‘medical cosmetics’ or other medical services. ‘Medical treatment’ should be clearly defined in law so as to protect the public. We propose that the Undesirable Medical Advertisement Ordinance, Cap 231, be extended to encompass cosmetic advertising of a false or exaggerated nature, and those without scientific proof.”

The HKMA also warned members of the public to be wary of “pseudo-science”.

www.hkma.org

HONG KONG: Senior HK health figures meet MPS

Senior figures from across the Hong Kong medical field met with MPS in late 2012.

Dr Stephanie Bown, Director of Policy and Communications – and Editor-in-Chief ofCasebook – and Dr Ming-Keng Teoh, Head of Medical Services (Asia), spent a week conveying MPS’s views and concerns on behalf of our members. Engagements included:

  • Lunch with Dr Leung Pak-yin, the Chief Executive of the Hospital Authority
  • Meeting with Professor Joseph Lau Wan-yee, Chair of the MCHK
  • “Close encounters” seminar at the Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital
  • Meeting with the Council of the HKMA
  • Seminar on Managing Medical Mishaps for the Hospital Authority – Dr Bown introduced the event and hosted a session on “how to break bad news”
  • Academy of Medicine (HKAM) and MPS joint forum on “Medicine and the media – public interest or private matters” – Dr Bown delivered a presentation on reputation management
  • Meetings with MPS’s local panel lawyers
  • An expert training course – which included a keynote introductory address from Ko Wing-man, Secretary for Food and Health.
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